Skip to main content

Full text of "Crossing the Rubicon-Decline of the American Empire at the end of the Age of Oil"

See other formats


Advance Praise for 
Crossing the Rubicon 



Astounding! Alarming! ... And yet at last, with this — Mike Ruppert's 

beyond-courageous offering — we gain sight of the whole of 
corporate-managed, government-assisted, bank-laundered, drug-funded 
plunder. And a jolt to spur our movements to take back the world. 

— Chellis Glendinning, PhD, author of Chiva: 
A Village Takes on the Global Heroin Trade and Off the Map: 
An Expedition Deep into Empire and the Global Economy 

Mike Ruppert was one of the first journalists to understand the concept and 
importance of Peak Oil. What is more important, he has connected the dots: 
he understands the relationships between this historic watershed and the 
geopolitical events of our time. Mike still has the instincts of a cop (which 
he once was), but the criminals he is tracking these days are no small-time 
hoodlums; they are some of the most powerful people on the planet. If you 
want to understand the dynamics of the oil-money-drugs-and-war imperial 
system in which we are all embedded, start with this book. 

— Richard Heinberg, author of The Party's Over and Powerdown 

Mike Ruppert represents, from top to bottom, the best tradition of an 
independent thinking, open-minded, uncorrupt able, humorous, prudent, 
American Cop. After running during his police career into conflicts with the 
drug dealing part of the CIA, Mike knows that government information 
seldom equals its disinformation. The doubt about the official 9/11 story 
brought us together. From the first day after 9/11, I could follow his 
scouting into the real world behind government propaganda. I firmly believe 
at the end of three years of conducting a really independent investigation, 
that Ruppert is not only heading in the right direction, but also touching 
the inner sanctum of the hidden government agenda. 

— Andreas Von Bulow, former German Cabinet Minister and Parliamentary 
Secretary, author of The CIA and September 11 

Fasten your thinking caps! Something is clearly terribly wrong at the heart of 
American politics. The same is true of the mainstream media. Reporters just 
aren't asking enough difficult and dangerous questions. Michael Ruppert has 
been asking disconcerting but critical questions for more than two decades, even 
when it meant confronting unpleasant truths that challenge the very basis of 
industrial society. His unflinching reporting on the facts behind the coming 



decline of global petroleum has been an extraordinary service to the world. 
Whatever you think of Ruppert's bold hypotheses about the geopolitics of oil, 
this provocative book will force you to confront the contradictions of our 
increasingly unsustainable global economy. 

— Julian Darley, author of High Noon for Natural Gas: The New Energy Crisis, 

founder and director of The Post Carbon Institute, 
and founder of www.globalpublicmedia.com 

I'm proud Mike asked me to appear in his seminal film, The Truth and Lies of 
9/11. Mike has traveled and studied the Peak Oil issue with world renowned 
experts, and he and I share an abiding shock at the rampant despoilment of our 
planet, through fake stoked resource wars that have real consequences in real 
lives. Mike has something to say and I'm going to listen. 

— US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Georgia 

Mike Ruppert's work should be a household item for any American Muslim, Jew 
or Christian looking to understand the difference between authentic religious 
piety versus the criminality that occupies much of the headlines these days. He 
brings this home for every American by exposing the perpetrators here within 
our own government, most notably using 9-11 as a paradigm. All folk of religion 

must have the courage to expose the agendas that use 'religion' as a guise, be 
these agendas in the name of 'Islamic resurgence' or 'Securing the Jewish State.' 
Kudos to Mike, one of the last of the true-blooded Americans around. 

— Faiz Khan M.D., Triage Emergency Physician on 9-1 1, 
Assistant Imam, New York 

In a sector rife with disinformation and ill-informed comment, Michael 
Ruppert's work stands out as a conspicuous beacon of valuable well-informed 
analysis. His claims are bold and contrarian and have dramatic implications for 
the global oil price should the global economy experience a sustained recovery 
while Iraqi oil supplies are curtailed. Ruppert believes (with ample 
documentation to justify his view) that depletion dynamics will fuel energy 
price appreciation more in this cycle than any prior one. If he is anywhere 
near correct, as we believe, the oil market will begin an historic cyclical upmove 
with a tighter supply demand balance than at any prior cycle. For anyone 
wishing to understand the full ramifications of this for the 
energy markets and global economy, Ruppert's work is invaluable. 

— Marshall Auerback, international portfolio strategist for David W. Tice & 

Associates, Inc., and weekly contributor to www.prudentbear.com 



CROSSING 

★ THE* 

RUBICON 



THE DECLINE OF THE 
AMERICAN EMPIRE 
AT THE END OF 



THE AGE OF OIL 




ft 





MICHAEL C. RUPPERT 

'foreword by Catherine Austin Fitts 




New Society Publishers 



Cataloging in Publication Data: 

A catalog record for this publication is available from the National Library of Canada. 



Copyright © 2004 by Michael C. Ruppert. 
All rights reserved. 

Cover design and illustration by Diane Mcintosh. 

Printed in Canada. 

Paperback ISBN: 0-86571-540-8 

The views expressed in this book are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect 
those of the publisher. 

Inquiries regarding requests to reprint all or part of Crossing the Rubicon should be 
addressed to New Society Publishers at the address below. 

To order directly from the publishers, please add $4.50 shipping to the price of the first 
copy, and $1.00 for each additional copy (plus GST in Canada). Send check or money 
order to: 

New Society Publishers 

P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X0, Canada 
1-800-567-6772 

New Society Publishers' mission is to publish books that contribute in fundamental 
ways to building an ecologically sustainable and just society, and to do so with the least 
possible impact on the environment, in a manner that models this vision. We are com- 
mitted to doing this not just through education, but through action. We are acting on 
our commitment to the world's remaining ancient forests by phasing out our paper 
supply from ancient forests worldwide. This book is one step towards ending global 
deforestation and climate change. It is printed on acid-free paper that is 100% old 
growth forest-free (100% post-consumer recycled), processed chlorine free, and 
printed with vegetable based, low VOC inks. For further information, or to browse our 
full list of books and purchase securely, visit our website at: www.newsociety.com 



New Society Publishers 



www.newsociety.com 



Dedication 



For everyone who never gave up on me. 

For every American and for every citizen of Germany, France, Britain, Canada, 
Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, The Netherlands, 
Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Israel, 
Iraq, India, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Belgium, 
Mexico, Panama, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Brazil - and every 
other country - who stood up after 9/11 and said "We do not accept this!" — and 
who stayed the course. 

For every generation following mine from whom my generation and the ones 
before it have stolen so cruelly. For all life on this planet. 

For every American government official, especially those from the State 
Department, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Defense who has 
resigned as a matter of conscience and principle since 9/11. 

For every street cop, brick agent, and Air Force officer or enlisted person who 
did their damndest to prevent 9/11 and who fought for what was right - especial- 
ly the ones who paid a price for it. 

For every non-American press organization that pushed a well-understood 
envelope to its limits and beyond. 

For Cynthia McKinney, Barbara Lee, Ron Paul, and Paul Wellstone. You are 
not Democrats or Republicans. You are Americans. 

For Ellen and Louis Neil Mariani. 

For John O'Neill 

For every person who has died in the violence unleashed by 9/11, and for the 
ones who have yet to join them. 

For a 27-year-old honest LAPD cop who thought he was acting just like any 
other cop would act, only to have his life taken away; and who was stupid enough 
to think that he had an obligation - as a matter of honor - to speak of what he 
had seen; long before he found out that it was a little bigger than he thought at 
first. The first bite was the hardest. You are free now. Get on with your life. 

And for my ex-wife Mary who on September 11, 2001, sat for so many painful 
hours in her Battery Park apartment; trapped in front of a living TV screen she 
could not turn off; sending out e-mails from Hell reading, "My God, they're jump- 
ing I can see them when they hit Another plane just hit The buildings 

are coming down. 

I don't know where to go." 

May God grant all of you peace, a smile, and a good night's sleep. 



We get answers that don't answer; 
Explanations that don't explain; 
And conclusions that don't conclude. 

— Fred Hampton 



In a ham and eggs breakfast, the chicken is involved 
but the pig is committed. 

— Unknown 



Contents 



Acknowledgments ix 

FOREWORD by Catherine Austin Fitts XIII 

Introduction 1 

Part I — Motive 

Chapter 1: Petroleum Man 22 

Chapter 2: Cheney Knew 41 

Chapter 3: The CIA is Wall Street, and Drug Money is King 50 

Chapter 4: Connecting Drugs and Oil 69 

Chapter 5: A Criminal Meltdown 76 

Chapter 6: Laying the Foundation: Destroy Russia, 

Prepare the Battlefield 82 

Chapter 7: Caspian Corruption 94 

Chapter 8: Setting Up the War: Pakistan's ISI, 

Americas Agent for Protecting the Taliban and al Qaeda 103 

Chapter 9: Business with the bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia .... 123 
Part II — Means 

Chapter 10: PROMIS: Controlling the Data 152 

Chapter 11: Vreeland I 175 

Chapter 12: Executing a Conspiracy: Shame and Honor 

in the FBI - An Air Force Colonel Blows the Whistle 203 

Chapter 13: Penetration 225 

Chapter 14: 9/11 Insider Trading, or "You Didn't Really 

See That, Even Though We Saw It" 238 

Chapter 15: Israel 254 

Chapter 16: Silencing Congress 269 

Chapter 17: Vreeland II: Silencing Me 291 



Part III — Opportunity 

Chapter 18: The Attacks 308 

Chapter 19: Wargames and High Tech: Paralyzing the 

System to Pull Off the Attacks 333 

Chapter 20: Q&A: Many Questions Asked, Some 

Answered - and a Golden Moment 357 

Chapter 21: The Last Hearing: FTW Confronts on the 

Wargames NORAD Runs 393 

Chapter 22: Guiliani and TRIPOD II 404 

Chapter 23: Dick Cheney, FEMA, and "Persons of Interest" 412 

Chapter 24: The Secret Service and National Special 

Security Events 427 

Chapter 25: The Commission's Wild Blue Yonder 437 

Part IV — Empire and Decline 

Chapter 26: The Record 448 

Chapter 27: "We Don't Need No Badges" 471 

Chapter 28: Conquering the American People 482 

Chapter 29: Biological Warfare 505 

Chapter 30: Order of Battle 527 

Chapter 31: Peak Oil Revisited 554 

Chapter 32: Summation 570 

Appendix A: Joint Chiefs of Staff "Northwoods" Document 595 

Appendix B: Vreeland Financial Document Sample 609 

Appendix C: Iraqi/Saudi Oilfields Information 610 

Endnotes 618 

Index 658 



Acknowledgments 



This may be the most difficult part of the entire book to write. To borrow freely 
from Winston Churchill, I feel as if one man has never owed so much to so 
many. 

My first and greatest thanks go to two men, without whose tireless work, their 
faith in me and in this project, this book would have died stillborn in the wreck- 
age of a hundred obstacles over the last two years: Ken Levine; my indefatigable 
and masterful agent and publicist; and Jamey Hecht, PhD, my editor and fellow 
dreamer. Watching both of you gear up and show up, day after day, through 
numbing fatigue, endless frustrations, and myriad uncertainties, gave me the 
inspiration I needed to stay at it. Though I am sure that some critics will step for- 
ward and label me anti-Semitic for having criticized Israel's foreign policy, I will 
never forget, and the readership will not be able to ignore, the fact that two 
American Jews quite literally made this book happen. You believed because I 
believed. I believed because you believed. 

I must also thank two of the world's most courageous, independent, and bril- 
liant women: Catherine Austin Fitts, one of the greatest teachers I've ever had; and 
the most Honorable Cynthia McKinney, the former and next Representative of 
Georgia's Fourth District. I have watched both of you endure and persevere 
through obstacles, attacks, and challenges that would have defeated stronger peo- 
ple than me. We have stayed united through all of them. I can't tell either one of 
you of the number of times you have wordlessly instructed me about what 
strength is. You have told the truth where truth telling mattered most, and you 
have braved the retaliation from which others shrank. I would follow either one of 
you through flame and hail, and I know you have my back. 

Special thanks are also due to New Society, the publishers of this book. At the last 
minute you arrived, just like the (Canadian) cavalry. Your entire team jumped on 
this project with commitment, dedication, and most importantly your checkbook. 
The way you stepped up to the plate and the enthusiasm you have shown has given 
me greater faith than you know. It just may help change this deeply troubled world. 

No less important are the excellent writers who have made From The Wilderness 
a respected landmark over the last six and a half years, and especially the last three: 
Dale Allen Pfeiffer, FTW's Energy Prophet; Stan Goff, a soldier of honor and 
compassion on so many fronts whose passion and insights are second to none; 

IX 



X CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Michael Kane, whose independent journalism and Hip Hop are as intense as they 
are instructive; Tom Flocco, the bulldog who would not let go of the Kean 
Commission and some of the most important 9/11 stories; Nick Levis whose inci- 
sive thinking helped us all to find and crystallize our positions; Mike Davidson, 
who did such great reporting on the microbiology murders and biowarfare issues; 
and to Wayne Madsen in Washington, whose inside knowledge on intelligence 
issues and whose sense of humor kept our spirits high. To all the other writers who 
have graced the pages of From The Wilderness with your hard work and dedicated 
research, I offer my undying thanks. 

Thanks also to FTW's office staff and all the others who kept us self-support- 
ing, self-sustaining, and completely independent over the years so that I did not 
once have to look at any journalistic compass other than the truth. Without the 
compass, the map is nothing. I thank Secillia Sliffe, Jason Majik, Ryan Spiegl, Tim 
Barker, Andrea and C.J. Shepherd. 

Equally important are all of FTW's subscribers and all of the donors who kept 
us afloat through countless emergencies, trials and challenges. Some of you have 
been with us from day one, and your loyalty has kept me strong in many difficult 
nights and days. 

Special thanks to all of the donors who made it possible for FTW to run full- 
page newspaper ads in some of the nation's largest newspapers before they got wise 
and priced us out of the market. This especially includes true leaders like Jack 
Gubanc, Faiz Khan, Professor Francis Boyle, and so many others. 

I thank also every event organizer, promoter, and sponsor who brought me to 
speak at more than 30 events in eight different countries since 9/11. I know there 
are many names I will forget here, and I ask your forgiveness in advance: Barry 
Zwicker, Duncan Roads, Nick Levis, Ronald Thoden, Heiner Buecker, Ian Woods, 
Michel Chossudovsky, Carol Brouillet, Terry Burrows, Dr. Faiz Khan, Pinnacle 
Quest International, and so many, many more. 

Very special thanks to all of the Pacifica Radio Network supporters, listeners, 
and activists who fought messy wars against censorship and who kept my message 
going out over the airwaves, who countered the spinmeisters and who kept the 
debate focused on the important issues: Tracy Larkins, Eva Georgia, Gus Newport, 
Kellia Ramares, Larry Chin, Ian Johnston, and so many others. What a blessing it 
is for me to have enjoyed such loyalty and consistency. 

Special thanks are due to Canada, its wonderful and decent people, its love of 
justice, its sense of fairness, and for all the moose you have promised to show me 
but which I have never seen. In particular I would like to thank two brave and 
forthright Canadian lawyers, Rocco Galati and Paul Slansky, who laid out the 
record of Delmart "Mike" Vreeland in a way that history cannot ignore. Hey, what 
are a few dead cats, smashed windows, and death threats anyway? 

I thank all of my supporters in France, Britain, Latin America, and Australia, 
who have made me feel that I am a citizen of the world. I must also say a very 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS XI 

special thanks to former German cabinet minister and parliamentary secretary 
Andreas von Biilow. Your generosity, your leadership, your courage, and your hos- 
pitality have meant more to me than you know. Cologne is indeed one of the most 
beautiful cities in the world. Without your hospitality, I would not have had the 
opportunity to see the house where Beethoven was born or hear such sublime 
chamber music. 

Special thanks to all of the American Muslims who invited me to speak in their 
Mosques, and to all of the American Jews who took to this book and my work in 
the full recognition that we all worship the same God. This has been living broth- 
erhood and spiritual integrity at its highest level. By your actions you have 
reminded a forgetful world that there are but two commandments: That thou shall 
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, and soul; and that thou shall love 
thy neighbor as thyself. 

Thanks to Barbara Honegger, who kept hammering on the wargames until we 
all paid notice. Although I don't agree with every position you take and we have 
had our problems, I cannot deny that you showed me the most important lead I 
needed to put it all together. No one can take that away from you. 

Thanks to my teachers on energy: Dale Allen Pfeiffer (again), Colin Campbell, 
Jean Laherrere, Richard Heinberg, Julian Darley, Kjell Aleklett, my newfound 
friend Ah Samsam Bakhtiari, and the candid Matthew Simmons. 

Thanks to my teachers on writing and research; those who were both courageous 
pathfinders and who saved my life by having the courage to say that things were very, 
very wrong so many years ago: Peter Dale Scott, Fletcher Prouty, and Alfred McCoy. 
I have tried to emulate you wise men and, in that process, have become my truest 
and best self thus far. I wish the world had listened to you decades ago. 

Thank you to my father Ed for lending me $500 to write a book 24 years ago. 
Although we saw three different books get close to life only to watch them myste- 
riously die, you stayed the course with me, and I am so proud to have placed a 
copy of this book in your hands before you "graduate" and leave this world. 

Thanks to my mother, Madelyn, who never stopped believing in me until the 
moment of her death in December 2001. I can hear your cheers from beyond the 
grave. 

Thanks to my God, who never left my side and asked only that I continue to 
show up, even when there was no hope and no energy, no vision and no money. 
Thanks to the God who taught me that faith the size of a mustard seed could 
indeed move mountains and who heard all of my prayers and who responded, per- 
fectly and consistently, every time I put one foot in front of the other, believing that 
no matter what dark places I walked into and through, it was nothing more than 
the busting of the grandest illusion of all: fear - False Evidence Appearing Real. 

Special thanks to Lois who came along late in the game, but at just the moment 
when I needed a stable, loving, supporting hand who could make God's reality 
accessible to my tired spirits. Thanks for making me laugh; for making me look at 



XII CROSSING THE RUBICON 

myself; and for making me find things in myself that gave me strength and a belief 
that I could reach the finish line. Thanks for making me believe there were some 
things to look forward to once I had crossed it. 

Thanks to Richard Clarke who left so many great breadcrumbs. I don't know 
how you got away with it. 

Thanks to Don Henley, Jackson Browne, and David Baerwald. Maybe I'll get 
to meet two of you someday. 

But above all, I offer my deepest and most undying gratitude to all of the ded- 
icated researchers who flooded my e-mail inbox (and many others) with as many 
as 400 e-mails a day. You gave me the stories, you caught the leads, you found the 
inconsistencies and the lies, you did the digging, and you asked the questions that 
made it possible for me to put this book together. I may have had the map before 
9/11, but there were many uncharted areas on it. You charted some critical lands 
and seas. 

Writing a major book like this is a process that cannot be fully described. No 
"one" just sits down and writes a good non-fiction book with more than 900 foot- 
notes without help. It is a labor of love for all who participate. And if there is 
anything that gives me the slightest hope for the future, it is man's capacity to love 
life, to care for other men and women, and to undergo sacrifice for the sake of 
something other than their own well-being and comfort. 

It is not over yet for mankind. Miracles can happen without our permission. 
This book is living proof of that. 



Michael C. Ruppert 
August 14, 2004 



a 

A Matter of Life and Death 



By Catherine Austin Fitts 

The real deal on corporate media 

In 1990, a New York Times reporter writing about my work implementing finan- 
cial transparency and controls as an Assistant Secretary in the first Bush 
administration resigned to prevent the Times' Washington Bureau Chief from 
intentionally falsifying the story. The bureau chief kept his job, a first rate inves- 
tigative reporter left the news profession, and the story was buried. This 
manipulation protected 1980s black budget fraud at the US Department of 
Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"). It was one of my many lessons on 
the economic interests and political loyalties of corporate media. 

Indeed, during the 1980s, the savings and loan industry and government insur- 
ance programs were stripped of an estimated $500 billion by syndicates of 
military, intelligence, and private financial interests. The profits were used to buy 
up banking, industrial, and media companies and to finance political campaigns. 
From a greater position of political, judicial, and economic power in the 1990s, 
these same syndicates then stripped an estimated $6 trillion of investors' value in 
pump and dump stock market and mortgage market schemes and an estimated $4 
trillion of taxpayer money from the US federal government. 

In 1997, the Washington Post killed a cover story on my efforts to help HUD 
insure the integrity of its mortgage programs, thus making possible the subsequent 
disappearance of $59 billion from HUD as a part of this orgy of "piratization" of 
government assets by private interests. Soon thereafter, when I attended a private 
invitation-only reception with colleagues at her home, Katherine Graham, the 
owner of the Washington Post, snubbed me by refusing to greet me in her receiv- 
ing line. 

Washington Post corporate interests profited from HUD programs used to gen- 
trify Washington, DC neighborhoods. Check out the last few pages in Graham's 
autobiography — it's there in black and white. What's not to be found in the pages 
of the Washington Post or Graham's book is the "real deal" on who has profited 
from insider real estate development or narcotics trafficking in these same 
Washington neighborhoods — or from reinvestment of the resulting profits in 
stocks of local corporations like the Washington Post. 

XIII 



XIV CROSSING THE RUBICON 



I do not mean to single out the New York Times or the Washington Post. I have 
had similar experiences with the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, US 
News and World Report and Dow Jones Newswire, to name a few. Trusted friends 
and colleagues have experienced similar situations with numerous newspapers, 
magazines, and networks owned and operated by corporate media interests. 

George Orwell once said that omission is the greatest form of lie. That's the best 
description I know of corporate media today. 

The growing power of real media 

The cost to you of supporting corporate media is not just the subscription prices 
or the time lost to advertisements. It's the cost of omission — failing to tell you 
what you need to know. Consider that this cost includes: 

— Your share of the $10 trillion that has been moved out of the US stock 
market and government without your having been informed by an alert 
and objective news media in time for you to take actions to protect 
yourself and your family. 

— The dilution of your Constitutional freedoms and the vesting of power 
in a small group of individuals who defraud you (the public) of stag- 
gering sums of money and then use that money to buy up media and 
control your government and judiciary and to compromise your rights 
and the rights of people around the world. 

— The impact on you and your children of having your streets and schools 
overwhelmed with dangerous narcotics and prescription drugs. 

Our financial system depends on liquidity. In turn, liquidity depends on a pop- 
ular faith in the system's "rule of law." Global leadership's power depends on the 
ability to combine criminal cash flows with liquid stock market and government 
securities. This is why Mike Ruppert's From The Wilderness and a growing global net- 
work of Internet media are accomplishing so much as we shift our readership and 
subscription dollars to them. The powers that be are highly motivated to protect the 
legitimacy of their financial system. If a little bit of well-placed illumination exposes 
some of this criminality, the criminals take notice. That little bit of illumination can 
also embarrass them a lot in front of their families and neighbors. Who wants to go 
to a PTA meeting after Mike Ruppert has explained that you are on the board of, or 
a lead investor in, a company complicit in slave trafficking or the torture of children? 

David can defeat Goliath if we provide the resources to finance the stones — 
as you have helped to do by buying this book. 

The record speaks for itself 

The fact that America and many countries around the globe are being strip-mined 
in a manner that results in the destruction and "piratization" of our infrastructure 



FOREWORD 



XV 



and natural resources, the reduction of the value of our personal assets and retire- 
ment and health care benefits and the abrogation of our civil liberties is not 
something that the corporate media has made clear to you. Mike Ruppert has. 

Allegations that the CIA and Department of Justice were complicit in the flow 
of cocaine into South Central LA; that the Clintons were partnered with George 
H. W. Bush and Oliver North through the offices of the National Security Council 
in a little Iran Contra arms and cocaine trafficking operation in Mena, Arkansas; 
and that Hillary Clinton's law firm was helping launder the local share of the profits 
through state housing agency securities and investments were never addressed objec- 
tively by the corporate media. Mike Ruppert covered these stories and broke the story 
of the possible connection between these allegations and the Clinton impeachment. 

It is highly unlikely that you read or heard in the corporate media that the price 
of gold was being manipulated to turn off our financial "smoke alarm," or to "pira- 
tize" significant inventories of gold out of government and central banks globally 
at suppressed values. It is highly unlikely that you read or heard that money was 
allegedly being siphoned off from federal agencies using PROMIS-type software 
programs and that important financial and securities investigation records were 
destroyed in the Oklahoma City and 9/11 attacks. Mike Ruppert's subscribers 
have read these stories. 

You did not read or hear in the corporate media that the events of 9/11 "just 
happened" to resolve the stalemate in the defense appropriations subcommittee 
created when, in the face of the "disappearance" of $3.3 trillion from the 
Department of Defense and a five-year refusal to produce audited financial state- 
ments, Congress was challenged with achieving a significant increase in defense 
spending. Or that the events of 9/11 allowed the Federal Reserve to adopt highly 
inflationary monetary policies that postponed dealing with serious financial sys- 
tem flaws. Mike Ruppert covered these stories. 

You did not read or hear in the corporate media that our lives and economy 
are entirely dependent on fossil fuel, that world oil and gas production will soon 
decline, and what these facts have to do with the events of 9/11 and the subse- 
quent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Mike Ruppert covered these stories. 

All these facts and allegations have been made abundantly clear by Mike and 
his publication, From The Wilderness. While corporate media refines the art of 
profitable omission, Mike Ruppert has risked his name, his financial security, and 
his life to warn us — again and again. 

An info cop's beat: Watching your back 

Through his website, radio talk-show appearances, speeches, DVDs, monthly 
newsletter, and e-mail updates, Mike has been telling us for years what he sees, 
hears, and feels about "the real deal." 

Mike Ruppert had to leave the Los Angeles Police Department because he tried to 
prevent government-protected narcotics trafficking. After learning that the corporate 



XVI CROSSING THE RUBICON 



media would not tell the truth about this important story, Mike became a pub- 
lisher. In the face of widespread public denial of the fact of our economic 
dependence on "narco-dollars" and warfare, Mike persisted. Mike is determined to 
help us face and recover from our financial addiction to an estimated $500 billion 
- $ 1 trillion of annual US money laundering. 

In one sense, Mike is still a cop. He's publisher as "info-cop." His "info-beat" 
is the intelligence we need to protect ourselves — even if the lifting of the shades 
of denial means exposing our own complicity in the enjoyment of the fruits of the 
trickle down of dirty money. 

Throughout the years, I have heard a lot of criticism of Mike and his work. For 
example: 

Mike is too aggressive. 

It's true that Mike is unbelievably aggressive. Mike's aggression is one of the rea- 
sons I am a subscriber to From The Wilderness. I want to hear about danger real 
loud, real clear, and on a real-time basis. I want Mike shouting "fire!" while I still 
have time to get out of the theater alive. It takes incredible aggression to stand up 
to the military banking complex and the academics, think tanks, not-for-profits, 
and corporate media they fund. All the money on the planet can, and does, buy a 
lot of attack poodles. It is full-time entertainment just watching them nip at Mike's 
heels and piddle on the fire hydrants when he's around. 

Mike has a point of view. 

It's true. Mike always expresses an opinion on matters covered in his stories. He 
is both commentator and activist in a new genre of what Al Giordano of Narco 
News calls "authentic journalism." This is another reason why I am a subscriber. 
A point of view is worth a heap of analytical power. Mike's job as "info-cop" is not 
to have an objective point of view. His job is to make sure we are safe by sharing 
the information we need. The only potential risk we can price, adjust for, or dis- 
miss is the risk of which we are aware. If that kind of journalism comes with a 
vision and a perspective from the writer, I want that too. 

Mike is "in your face. " 

Mike is not shy. You disagree? You have a problem? You got a question? You can 
take it to Mike, have it out with Mike, and speak your mind with Mike. Mike will 
say it to your face loud and clear. You can do the same. The only thing you can't 
do is to get him to agree with you when he does not. Mike's temper is big — but 
not as big as his heart. 

Mike's courage and intelligence can save not just your time and your money, but 



A map of south central Los Angeles 

After a successful career on Wall Street, I moved to Washington, DC, to serve as 
Assistant Secretary of Housing in the first Bush administration. After I left the 




This one's true, too. I'm a case in point. 



FOREWORD XVII 



administration, I was invited to join the Federal Reserve as a governor. I declined 
the invitation in order to start my own investment bank, Hamilton Securities. 
Cleaning up Iran-Contra period fraud had persuaded me that democracy and 
markets depended on citizens having access to government financial disclosure 
contiguous to the political jurisdictions in which they elected officials. Owners of 
small businesses, farms, and real estate needed to finance privately with equity and 
stop depending on government credit programs that created a negative-return-on- 
investment economy in neighborhoods. 

Hamilton was developing a software tool called "Community Wizard" that 
would have provided communities with their own access to rich databases and soft- 
ware tools that painted a clear picture of how government money works in each 
community. The first step to reengineering a negative-return-on-investment econ- 
omy is to "see" it. In addition, we were designing a suite of software tools that 
would allow us to conform valuations of street-level land, housing, and real estate 
equity with valuations of outstanding mortgage and real estate securities. Such 
pricing data is essential for understanding how to reduce the harm done through 
the political and financial manipulation of neighborhood land and housing mar- 
kets. 

In March 1998, congressional hearings were held on one of two CIA Inspector 
General reports addressing allegations (especially those of Gary Webb in his sto- 
ries for the San Jose Mercury News, which shaped his 1999 book Dark Alliance: The 
CIA, The Contras, and the Crack-Cocaine Explosion) about the role of the CIA and 
the Department of Justice in cocaine trafficking in South Central Los Angeles. 
Immediately prior to those hearings, Judge Stanley Sporkin approved the transfer 
of Hamilton's records to the control of a court-appointed "special master." As a 
result, Hamilton's offices were seized, our financial records manipulated in an 
attempt to falsely frame us, our computer systems ripped apart, and our digital 
records transferred to court control. During these same Congressional hearings, a 
1 982 memorandum of understanding between the Department of Justice and the 
CIA came to light. The memorandum effectively relieved the CIA of the legal obli- 
gation to report narcotics trafficking. The CIA General Counsel when that 
memorandum of understanding was negotiated and signed was Stanley Sporkin. 

The transfer of control of Community Wizard and Hamilton's other programs 
and databases to the special master had the practical result of ensuring that the 
development of our software tools and the potential for public and private access 
to them came to an end. What was destroyed included the databases that sup- 
ported maps of HUD mortgage defaults in South Central Los Angeles. 

Hamilton had posted data maps on the Internet to show how the HUD money 
worked in select cities, one of which was Los Angeles. We hadn't understood all 
the implications when we posted them. The data for the Los Angeles map — 
specifically the South Central LA portion — show patterns of significant mortgage 
defaults contiguous to narcotics trafficking activity described in the Dark Alliance 



XVIII CROSSING THE RUBICON 



allegations. Such data has the potential to raise important questions regarding alle- 
gations that HUD mortgage insurance programs were being used to launder 
narcotics profits and that such profits were being magnified through the issuance 
of mortgage securities backed by fraudulent HUD-insured mortgage loans. Mike 
Ruppert had worked as a narcotics investigator for the Los Angeles Police 
Department, and his first words when I showed him the maps were "Holy 
Smokes!" 

After the seizure of the Hamilton offices, I became for all intents and purpos- 
es a prisoner in my own home — a beautiful carriage house located in the Dupont 
Circle neighborhood of Washington, adjacent to the financial district and not far 
from the seat of national power. I was living with physical harassment and sur- 
veillance while various people around me were trying to persuade me that the dead 
animals on my doorstep, the break-ins, the people following me on foot or by car, 
and the clicking noises on my telephone were one ongoing coincidence. I deter- 
mined that my life depended on learning as much as possible about who was really 
in charge. 

I called a distributor of videos on government corruption and asked him to rec- 
ommend films documenting government-sponsored narcotics trafficking and 
financial fraud. He sent me a copy of a tape of Mike Ruppert's confrontation of 
then-CIA Director John Deutsch at a town hall meeting. The confrontation was 
soon made famous by inclusion in an online video, Crack the CIA, which was 
made available on Guerrilla News Network and won an award at the Sundance 
Film Festival. I took one look at Mike making mincemeat of a very savvy CIA 
director on global TV and realized that this was a person who could help trans- 
form my situation. 

I will never forget one of the first things Mike wrote to me by e-mail. "If they 
shoot at you [from the apartment building next to your house] , remember to run 
toward the gunfire," he said. It was at that moment that the anxiety that came 
from living an Orwellian nightmare started to ease. The more I spoke with Mike, 
the more my cognitive dissonance disappeared. There was logic to the world. I 
could understand covert operations and narco-dollars. I was not alone. My pastor 
once said, "If we can face it, God can fix it. " Mike made it possible for me to face 
what was happening, and as I faced it, God indeed went to work to fix it. 

Early courage 

Mike's extraordinary courage also spared me from a frightening loneliness in the 
darkest moments that descended upon those of us who tried to warn our loved 
ones during the events of 9/1 1. The official lies and profiteering by our leadership 
were met immediately and relentlessly by Mike Ruppert's outraged howl as he 
demanded answers to important questions. Thanks largely to Mike's initial stand 
and his ongoing support for key members in his media network — Michel 
Chossudovsky of Global Research, Alastair Thompson of Scoop Media, Al Giordano 



FOREWORD XIX 



of Narco News, Tom Flocco ofTomFlocco.com, and others — the 9/11 Truth 
Movement has staked out the moral high ground and is gathering strength every 
day. Thanks to Mike's courage, the questions regarding the possibility of insider 
responsibility or involvement and criminal gross negligence have remained on the 
table, right where they belong. 

Since first meeting him in 1998, I have been "in cahoots" with Mike in vari- 
ous ways. Before leaving Washington, I had Mike come and speak to a group of 
Washington insiders at my home. Mike's speech was interrupted briefly by the 
appearance of two unmarked black helicopters hovering over my roof garden, an 
occurrence that inspired one of the guests — an influential reporter — to remark 
that Mike must be "the real deal" if he inspired such attention. 

I have since published articles in From The Wilderness and had the opportuni- 
ty to speak with Mike at public events and join him on radio talks shows. I enjoy 
the rich flow of "real deal" intelligence and the support I have received from Mike 
and the people I have met through him. I have emerged a more seasoned and 
knowledgeable investment banker with membership in a new and evolving global 
network. Litigation with the US government and its informant have helped me 
develop the skills required to survive and thrive in the midst of growing lawless- 
ness and economic warfare. 

If Mike can say "no" to going along with criminality, I can, too. And so can you. 

On your side 

Here, in a nutshell, is what I have learned about your consumer media choices. 

If you want a good crossword puzzle and something safe to talk about at 
Sunday brunch, then subscribe and listen to the New York Times, the Wall Street 
Journal, the Washington Post, and network news. 

If, instead, you want to know who is stealing your money and your freedoms 
and planning on drafting your children, and you'd like to find out in time to devel- 
op strategies to make sure your family has the health, the freedom, and the 
financial means necessary to enjoy a Sunday brunch, subscribe to From The 
Wilderness and listen to Mike Ruppert. 

Mike Ruppert is an "info cop" who takes sides. 

Mike is on your side. 

If you are like me, having Mike and his global network of real deal media on 
your side could be a matter of life and death. 

Catherine Austin Fitts 

Former Assistant Secretary of Housing (Bush I) 
Past Managing Director, Dillon Read. 
August 19, 2004 
Hickory Valley, Tennessee 



Tn trod net in 

Ladies and Gentlemen 
of the Jury. . . 

One thing that no one can dispute is that the attacks of September 11, 2001, 
were a homicide. Of all police investigations, none is more thoroughly and 
precisely investigated than the taking of human life as the result of the actions of 
another. As almost every text for homicide detectives has taught us, the certainly 
that murders will be thoroughly and fairly investigated according to uniform stan- 
dards is among the core requirements of human civilization. While these attacks 
were arguably one of the most serious homicides ever committed, the investigation 
and "prosecution" of that case by means other than Dick Cheney's "war that will 
not end in our lifetimes" has never even approached the legal and logical standards 
governing all such investigations. No real case has ever been made that would pass 
first muster of even a junior assistant district attorney. 

Without such a court process, we are forced to employ analogies and metaphors. 
But there remains to us the most successful, fundamental strategy for the prose- 
cution of criminal behavior: demonstrating that a suspect did, or did not, have the 
means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crime. 

With respect to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, that critical litmus test for any 
murder prosecution — means, motive, and opportunity — has never been fully 
applied. In a capital case each of these components would require demonstration 
"beyond a shadow of doubt." Regardless of whom the suspect(s) turns out to be, 
these are the basic questions every homicide investigator must seek to answer in 
the course of the investigation. This book will attempt to do that. In the end the 
only "suspects" found to meet all of these criteria will not be al Qaeda and Osama 
bin Laden. They will instead be a group of people operating within certain gov- 
ernment agencies, including the White House, for the benefit of major financial 
interests within the United States and in other countries. This group will specifi- 
cally include parts of the administration of George W. Bush and, before it, the 
administration of William Jefferson Clinton. However, the only possible unifying 
thread will be the intelligence community and, in particular, the United States Secret 
Service and the Central Intelligence Agency. I realize that this is a frightening state- 
ment. I submit that by the end of this book it will be the only statement that 
encompasses and reasonably explains the facts as documented. 

i 




2 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

A word about conspiracies 

I am an investigator and a journalist. It is not my business to speculate, and my 
reasoning is not theoretical. As a detective it is my job to gather evidence, consid- 
er its authenticity, posit a hypothesis, and test that hypothesis against the larger 
pattern of facts. So much for "theory." As for the word "conspiracy," it's among the 
most common terms in the rigorous legal language of American jurisprudence. A 
conspiracy is generally defined as two or more people who plan to commit an ille- 
gal act and who then take one or more specific actions in furtherance of that plan. 
Conspiracy is a very real term for tens of thousands of minority men and women 
in the United States who are serving sentences of — in some cases — more than 
twenty years in federal penitentiaries like Leavenworth for "no-drug conspiracies." 
In many of those cases someone talked about acquiring drugs and someone else 
made a phone call asking if someone else had the drugs (in many cases only in very 
small amounts), and that's all it took to throw away the lives of these non- violent 
offenders. 

One of the most trumpeted themes in the post-9/ 1 1 world has been a blanket 
assertion that such a large conspiracy (if conducted within the US government) 
could never be concealed from the American people or the people of the world 
before the crime was committed. It has been sounded by the likes of David Corn 
at The Nation and former National Security Counterterrorism Chief Richard 
Clarke. Clarke wrote in his 2004 bestseller Against All Enemies, 

Conspiracy theorists simultaneously hold two contrary beliefs: a) that 
the US government is so incompetent that it can miss explanations 
that the theorists can uncover, and b) that the US government can 
keep a big and juicy secret. The first belief has some validity. The sec- 
ond idea is pure fantasy. 1 

Richard Clarke misled you here. He also informed, in some very surprising 
ways. In fact, as I will show you later, he misled in many places in his book. From 
the Manhattan Project to the Stealth fighter, the US government has successfully 
kept secrets involving thousands of people. Secondly, in order to execute a con- 
spiracy of the size and type I am suggesting, it is not necessary that thousands of 
people see the whole picture. The success of the US in maintaining the secrecy 
around the atom bomb and the Stealth fighter, or in any classified operation, lies 
in compartmentalization. A technician in Tennessee refining uranium ore in 1943 
would have had no knowledge of its intended use, or any moral culpability in any 
deaths that occurred as a result of it. Another technician in Ohio, mixing a poly- 
mer resin in 1985, would have had no knowledge of what an F117A looked like 
or what it was intended to do. 

The government routinely protects itself against disclosure by compelling mil- 
lions of employees to sign security agreements and secrecy oaths which would 
make them subject to immediate incarceration or loss of benefits if they talked, 



Introduction 3 



even about criminal behavior. Perpetrating the murders of 9/11 required only a 
few people inside a small circle who did indeed "need to know" the entire plan, or 
most of the plan, in order to complete their tasks. For reasons of physical safety, 
freedom from legal sanction, and job security, participants would be motivated — 
and therefore, guaranteed — not to inform on one another. 

This was one of many lessons I learned painfully with my first exposure to 
covert operations in 1976. In this book I will introduce you to several people who, 
I believe, had to have known enough to understand that the US government was 
planning for 9/11 to be successful ahead of time. I make no claim that these are 
the only ones involved at such a level, nor do I claim to know how many other 
such people might exist. My investigation will, however, demonstrate how easy it 
is in practice to conceal a broad conspiratorial agenda when the suspects control 
information flow and operational procedures inside the government. After two 
and a half years of investigation my estimate is that the number of people with 
complete foreknowledge of the attacks of September 1 1 th would likely not exceed 
two dozen, all of them bound to silence by Draconian secrecy oaths. The actions 
of some I will name in connection with 9/11, however, certainly place them on a 
list of possible suspects who need to be thoroughly questioned in a public forum 
that includes consequences for dishonesty. 

For many of you, the facts I present will be things you have never heard of or 
even considered. I guarantee that they will be fully documented in academic style 
footnotes so that you — members of the jury — may take them into your own 
rooms and evaluate them as you would "people's exhibits" in a murder trial. I ask 
you to accept nothing that I tell you at face value. Rather I demand of you that 
you make full use of the footnotes by examining the primary sources to which 
they refer. Examine them as you would a shell casing, a photo of a bloody foot- 
print, a bank statement, or witness testimony. That is your obligation, your 
sacred duty. 

Given that September 1 1 th was a homicide, it was absurd that pronouncements 
of guilt were made within hours of the attacks, even before interrogation of mate- 
rial witnesses (including key members of the US government and the bin Laden 
family) or the collection and analysis of physical evidence could take place. Much 
of the physical evidence was destroyed without examination. That in itself is a key 
anomaly suggesting guilty knowledge on the part of whoever directed the destruc- 
tion of evidence at a crime scene. In the case of the World Trade Center, a detective 
would demand an answer from the Department of Justice and the FBI. 

To date, the case that 9/11 was perpetrated solely by Osama bin Laden and al 
Qaeda has never been proved, even to the most rudimentary standards. In fact, 
some 35 months after the attacks there has not been a single successful 9/11 pros- 
ecution anywhere in the world. The only conviction that had been secured, a 
German prosecution against Mounir el Motassadeq, charged with aiding the so- 
called Hamburg cell of Mohammed Atta, was overturned in 2004 because the US 



4 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

government refused to produce key witnesses and evidence relevant to the 
charges. 2 Every defendant in a Western criminal case has the right to examine the 
evidence used against him and to cross-examine witnesses. 
That fact raises another set of critical questions. 

The rules 

Nothing changes the obligation to follow the investigative procedures used by any 
police detective, procedures which have been established by hundreds of years of 
precedent as the means of finding facts and then reconciling contradictory facts 
with each other in a way that establishes guilt or innocence. The law is also intend- 
ed to remove, as thoroughly as possible, any personal interest on the part of 
witnesses giving testimony, or of persons involved in the prosecution of the case. 

The fact that someone has what may be a prejudicial point of view is not dis- 
qualifying per se. In a trial these facts are presented to a jury who then weights the 
testimony according to their assessment of how much or how little the testimony 
is tainted. What is almost always unethical or disqualifying is a failure to disclose 
or conceal prejudice or a conflict of interest. The legal assumption is that conceal- 
ment presumes that the material presented has been knowingly and unfairly biased 
toward one side or the other. Arguably, someone starting with an acknowledged 
bias who still claims that a case can be made according to proper evidentiary stan- 
dards will have to meet an even higher standard than someone who can claim to 
have no bias at all. 

With regard to 9/11, there are no unbiased parties anywhere. Some are psycho- 
logically fearful of admitting that the US, and especially the world economy, could 
possibly be as corrupt as I am going to establish. Some are afraid of losing jobs or 
suffering economically if what I present is true. Many will be afraid to look at their 
own complicity in the systemic corruption which helped to create the motive for 
9/11 and which would prompt them instead to instantly believe in America's guilt, 
or Israeli guilt, or Muslim guilt without ever examining a single piece of evidence. 

I will disclose and overcome my own bias by adhering to strict standards of 
investigation and presenting facts. I insist that each reader look inside and do the 
same with their own biases, fears and preconceptions and that they continue to do 
so with every page they turn. 

Full disclosure 

Everything I am about to tell you is abundantly documented at <www.fromthewil- 
derness.com> in the section titled "About Michael C. Ruppert." 

Many years ago, I was trained and worked as a police detective. Although my 
career as a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department was in its relative 
youth when it ended, I had been "loaned" into detective positions on a number of 
occasions. This was standard procedure to groom those who had demonstrated the 
ability and were going to follow that career path. I had spent a mere four weeks on 



Introduction 5 



loan to Wilshire Division's Team 5 homicide table to work with a seasoned detec- 
tive named Mel Kissinger in 1976. I had previously also worked a combined total 
of about three months as a detective assigned to handle first auto theft and then 
burglary cases. Most importantly I had been loaned for a cumulative total of 
almost four months to work as a detective in Wilshire Division's narcotics unit 
and, aside from that, had been regularly pulled from uniformed field assignments 
to assist in narcotics investigations. I had shown such a knack for drug cases that 
in 1976 I was specially chosen and approved, over many senior candidates, to 
attend a two-week special narcotics investigation program run by the Drug 
Enforcement Administration. I had taken and passed the written civil service pro- 
motional examination for detective and had been given an oral examination score 
above 90 percent as evaluated by a panel of senior officers. 

In July of 1977 I struggled to make sense of a world gone mad. In a last-ditch 
effort to salvage a relationship with my fiancee, a CIA contract agent named 
Nordica Theodora D'Orsay (Teddy), I had traveled to find her in New Orleans. 
Aside from having an enormous number of contacts in both law enforcement and 
organized crime, she was also a lifelong friend of a niece of the Shah of Iran 
(Minou Hagstrom) with whom she had attended grade school and junior high in 
California. Through Teddy I had met members of the royal family (Prince Shariar) 
and watched as letters came from and went to Tehran (where Minou was living) 
and Los Angeles. On a hastily arranged vacation, secured with the blessing of my 
Commanding Officer, Captain Jesse Brewer of LAPD, I had gone on my own, and 
unofficially, to avoid the scrutiny of LAPD's Organized Crime Intelligence 
Division (OCID). 

Starting in the late spring of 1976 Teddy had wanted me to join her operations 
from within the ranks of LAPD. But her operations — from what little I had 
learned — always involved firearms leaving the country and drugs entering the 
country. Having specialized in drug cases, and looking forward to a career as a nar- 
cotics detective, I had steadfastly refused to get involved with drugs in any way. 
Everything she mentioned in her "terrorist" cases involved either heroin or 
cocaine, and firearms. Her stock response to my concerns was that "her people" 
were not interested in drugs. The director of the CIA at the time was George 
Herbert Walker Bush. I told her that I would never get involved in anything that 
overlooked narcotics. 

Although officially on staff at the LAPD Academy, I had been unofficially 
loaned to OCID since shortly after January 1977 when Teddy, announcing the start 
of a new operation, had suddenly disappeared. She left many people, including 
me, baffled and twisting in the breeze. I became the regular recipient of harassing 
phone calls, burglaries, surveillances, and threats. The OCID detectives had been 
pressuring me hard for information about her and her activities. It was informa- 
tion I couldn't have given them even if I had known it. Hoping against hope that 
I would find some way to understand her involvement with the CIA, the LAPD, 



6 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

the royal family of Iran, the Mafia, and drugs, I set out alone into eight days of 
Dantean revelations that have determined the course of my life ever since. 

Arriving in New Orleans I found her living in an apartment across the river 
in Gretna. Equipped with a scrambler phone and night vision devices, and work- 
ing from sealed communiques delivered by naval and air force personnel from 
nearby Belle Chasse Naval Air Station, she was involved in something truly ugly. 
She was arranging for large quantities of weapons to be loaded onto ships leav- 
ing for Iran. The ships were owned by a company that is today a subsidiary of 
Halliburton — Brown and Root. She was working with Mafia associates of New 
Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello to coordinate the movement of service boats 
that were bringing large quantities of heroin into the city. The boats arrived regu- 
larly at Marcello-controlled docks, unmolested by the New Orleans police she 
introduced me to. Through her I also met hard-hat divers, military men, Brown 
and Root employees, former Green Berets, and CIA personnel. 

The service boats were retrieving heroin from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, 
and international waters, oil rigs built and serviced by Brown and Root. More than 
once during the eight days I spent in New Orleans, I met and ate at restaurants 
with Brown and Root employees who were boarding those ships and leaving for 
Iran within days. Once, while leaving a bar and apparently having asked the wrong 
question, I was shot at in an attempt to scare me off. It was not the last time I was 
to be shot at, nor was it the last punishment I would ever suffer for asking questions. 

Disgusted and heartbroken at witnessing my fiancee and my government smug- 
gling drugs, I ended the relationship. Then I returned to Los Angeles and reported 
all the activity I had seen — including the connections between Brown and Root 
and the CIA — to LAPD intelligence officers. They promptly told me that I was 
crazy and needed to see a psychiatrist they would gladly provide. 

One of the smartest things I ever did was to avoid the offered "friendly" 
psychiatrist and find my own while securing a much needed rest at an LA-area 
psychiatric hospital. The psychiatrist there correctly diagnosed me with combat 
fatigue and reported that I was not crazy, just battered. Aside from a dozen tests 
which all showed that I was both sane and stable, the opinion of one psychiatrist 
was heavily influenced by a secret tape recording I had made of my fiancee dis- 
cussing her operations. Upon learning of that tape, OCID promptly seized and 
destroyed it. Only the integrity of the psychiatrist in a written record saved me 
when he reported that I had played the tape for him. 

I was returned to full duty, without restrictions, in the late fall of 1977. In my 
remaining fourteen months with LAPD I earned the highest rating reports possi- 
ble, was certified for promotion to detective and assigned to a month-long school 
for those about to be promoted. As far as LAPD was concerned I could walk on 
water. More importantly, as a result of a meticulous paper trail I had compiled with 
the help of my attorney, Tim Callahan, the City of Los Angeles ultimately ruled 
that my hospital time had "Injured on Duty" status: it had arisen from what the 



Introduction 7 



OCID detectives had subjected me to, and wh at they had asked me to do. I had 
been following orders and not acting on my own. 

The impending fall of the Shah of Iran in the late autumn of 1978 prompted 
me to renew my efforts to find out what had happened to my life. Forced out of 
LAPD under threat of death at the end of 1978, with no pending disciplinary 
actions, and just days away from promotion, I resigned and made complaints to 
LAPD's Internal Affairs Division and to the LA office of the FBI. My decision to 
resign had been made for me when, after delivering a tape-recorded death threat 
to an aide to Chief Daryl F. Gates and asking for a meeting, I was told, "The Chief 
is busy. He can give you five or ten minutes in a week to ten days if you're still 
alive." 

I, and my attorney, wrote to politicians; we wrote to the Department of Justice 
and the CIA; we contacted the LA Times. The result was less than satisfactory. 
Both the FBI's Los Angeles field office, then under the command of the Special 
Agent in Charge (SAC) Ted Gunderson, and the LAPD subsequently made offi- 
cial statements that I was crazy. History has come to my defense in spades. 

According to a 1981 two-part feature story in the Los Angeles Herald Examine, 
it was revealed that the FBI in New Orleans had taken my ex-fiancee into custody 
and then released her before classifying their investigation without further action. 
Former New Orleans Crime Commissioner Aaron Cohen told reporter Randall 
Sullivan that he found my description of events perfectly plausible after his 30 
years of studying Louisiana's organized crime operations and their intelligence 
connections. 

To this day a 1986 CIA report prepared as a result of my complaint remains 
classified and exempt from release, pursuant to Executive Order of the President 
in the interests of national security, and because it would reveal the identities of 
CIA agents. I filed a Freedom of Information Act appeal for its release, without 
success. A copy of the Agency's letter of refusal is posted on my website. 

On October 26, 1981, while in the basement of the West Wing of the White 
House, I reported what I had seen in New Orleans to my then friend and UCLA 
classmate Craig Fuller, who was serving as Assistant to President Reagan for 
Cabinet Affairs. Again there was no substantive official response. Fuller went on 
to become chief of staff to Vice President Bush from 1981 to 1985. 

In 1982, then UCLA political science professor Paul Jabber filled in many of 
the pieces in my quest. He was qualified to do so because he had served as a CIA 
and State Department consultant for the Carter administration. Jabber explained 
that, after a 1975 treaty between the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein (The 
Treaty of Algiers), the Shah had cut off all overt military support for Kurdish rebels 
fighting Saddam from the north of Iraq. In exchange the Shah had gained access 
to the Shat al-Arab waterway so that he could multiply his oil exports and income. 
Not wanting to lose a long-term valuable asset in the Kurds, the CIA had then 
used Brown and Root, which operated in both countries and maintained port 



8 



CROSSING THE RUBICON 



facilities in the Persian Gulf and near Shat al-Arab, to rearm the Kurds. The whole 
operation had been financed with heroin, which the Kurdish partisans had smug- 
gled for decades. Jabber was matter-of-fact about it. Brown and Root had also 
worked with the CIA for decades. 

In 1983 Paul Jabber left UCLA to become a vice president of Bankers Trust 
and chairman of the Middle East Department of the Council on Foreign 
Relations. 

Those wishing to learn more of this history may view the documentary record 
of events at <www.fromthewilderness.com/about.html>. 



a Bankers Trust Company 
280 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10017 

Pauljabbet Mailing Address: 

Vice rVesident P-O- B° x 318, Church Street Station 

Telephone: 212-850-2648 New York, New York 10015 



December 21 , 1984 



To Whom It May Concern: 

I first net Michael Ruppert several years ago, when he walked into my 
office at UCLA to seek my counsel on issues of Middle East politics 
for a writing project on the U.S. foreign policy tie-ins of the international 
drug traffic. Since then he has become a dear friend, and I have had 
multiple opportunities to appreciate his many sterling qualities, both 
personal and professional. 

A sharp intellect, an alert and disciplined mind, and a wonderful 
ability to translate thoughts and feelings into the written word with 
seeming ease and much elegance are attributes that I quickly noticed in. Mike. 
His blossoming journalistic career has therefore not come as a surprise 
to me. But on the subjects that intrigue him he also brings to bear an 
acute social conscience and a strong sense of ethics that flow naturally 
from his honest and upright character. 

Mike's intelligence, determination and integrity provide in themselves 
a firm guarantee of success in any professional pursuits to which he may 
devote himself. He carries not only my vote of confidence, but also my 
best wishes. 



Sincerely, 




Associate Professor 
Political Science Department 
University of California, Los Angeles 



I have, then, a history of civic and personal frustration at the inaction of the 
United States government when confronted with ethically urgent constructive crit- 
icism. I forthrightly acknowledge that this history predisposes me to distrust my 
government, of which I am highly critical in these pages. But the grounds of my 
distrust are the same deeds of violence and deception I report here. To take civic 
issues personally is to take them seriously 

Edges of the foundation 

Events in the five-year period that began on September 11, 2001 will determine 
the course of human history for several centuries to come. The fall of the World 



Introduction 9 



Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon attack were not isolated events. They 
were one predictable outcome of an economic system whose pressures necessitat- 
ed murder in the judgment of those who perpetrated it. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn 
once wrote, "Men, in order to do evil, must first believe that what they are doing 
is good." History is full of similar events, such as the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the 
sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, and the fictitious "attacks" by North 
Vietnamese torpedo boats on US ships off the Vietnamese coast in the Gulf of 
Tonkin in 1964. What have these events in common? 

It's become increasingly clear that the Franklin Roosevelt administration had 
already broken the Japanese codes prior to the Pearl Harbor attacks and knew the 
attacks were coming. Yet the government took no precautions, other than to make 
sure that US aircraft carriers were safely out to sea on December 7, 1941. 
Roosevelt needed those attacks to stir a stridently isolationist American populace 
into frenzied support for entry into World War II and Britain's salvation. 3 History 
has also enshrined the notions that the sinking of the Maine and the Gulf of 
Tonkin incident were unprovoked attacks against innocent and noble Americans. 4 
As a result the Vietnam War became an economic boondoggle for US defense con- 
tractors and resulted in an explosion in the heroin trade under CIA control from 
neighboring Laos. 

For those who insist that such horrible actions on the part of the American 
government are inconceivable and dismiss them outright, I offer declassified top 
secret documents published by author James Bamford in his 2001 book Body of 
Secrets describing Operation Northwoods. (See Appendix A.) The Northwoods 
plan called for the downing of American aircraft and attacks on American facili- 
ties that were to then be blamed on the government of Fidel Castro as a pretext 
for war with Cuba. 5 Therefore it is not possible to dismiss the charges on the 
grounds that they are inconceivable. The Northwoods document constitutes a 
concrete historical precedent. 

As I watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center on September 1 1 th , 
I recognized that the biggest challenge was to prevent the enshrining of a "legend" 
that was completely unsupported by legal or academic standards, both of which 
require dispassionate, critical thinking. A detective's job is to first determine all 
available and relevant facts connected to a case, and then, through a process of 
elimination, reconcile those facts. It is a process of observation and deductive 
judgment. 

The rule in homicide investigations is that if someone is lying, you have more 
work to do: figure what the lie is and why it was told. This demands a logical win- 
nowing of irreconcilable claims; when two apparent "facts" conflict, one of them 
is usually eliminated when you examine their relationships to the rest of the case. 
I've researched and investigated 9/11 since it happened. There are so many of these 
conflicts that a multi-volume encyclopedia would be needed just to catalogue 
them all. Consider the following two examples. 



lO CROSSING THE RUBICON 

"No idea that planes could be used as weapons" 

Shortly after September 11 th both National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice 
and Press Secretary Ari Fleischer stated unequivocally that no one in government 
had any idea that planes could be used as weapons to attack buildings. I'll discuss 
some of the many proofs that refute this claim. But for the moment we need only 
look at one piece of contradictory evidence to give our homicide detective a clue, 
something that his job requires that he reconcile before closing the case. 

In his April 13, 2004 televised press conference, a disoriented President George 
W. Bush again made almost the exact same statement using the exact same words. 
"But there was a — nobody in our government, at least, and I don't think the prior 
government, could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive 
scale." The words "massive scale" stood in contradiction to the earlier pronounce- 
ments. If Bush meant that he or others had indeed realized before the attacks that 
one airplane could be crashed into a building, but that nobody thought of four of 
them — then he had just, in effect, called his National Security Advisor a liar. 
Worse, in the same press conference Bush made fleeting reference to the G-8 
Summit in Genoa, Italy. That summit required extraordinary security measures — 
closed airspace, anti-aircraft guns — precisely to defend George W. Bush from a 
possible airplane attack upon his own hotel. 

Consider that on the website of the US Army's Military District of Washington 
(which labels itself "the Guardian of the Nation's Capital") a November 3, 2000, 
story reported on "Pentagon Mass Casualty Exercise," a contingency drill practic- 
ing for the crashing of a passenger plane into the Pentagon resulting in 341 deaths. 
A terrorism context was made clear by the following sentences in the story: 

The Pentagon Mass Casualty Exercise, as the crash was called, was just 
one of several scenarios that emergency response teams were exposed to 
Oct. 24-26 in the Office of the Secretaries of Defense conference room. 

On Oct. 24, there was a mock terrorist incident at the Pentagon 
Metro stop and a construction accident to name just some of the sce- 
narios that were practiced to better prepare local agencies for real 
incidents. 6 

I chose to use this example, which was extant before 9/11, to illustrate the evi- 
dence that I and others worked with right after the attacks, rather than much more 
damning evidence which is available today. We were soundly criticized at the time 
for using this procedure although it has proved to be the same procedure used by 
the mainstream media since we literally led them, or in some cases, embarrassed 
them into it. For example, in July of 2003 the Village Voice's James Ridgeway docu- 
mented 36 instances catalogued in the 2003 Joint House-Senate Intelligence 
Review of 9/ 1 1 where specific warnings had been received indicating that the des- 
ignated suspects, Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, had planned to crash aircraft into 
buildings. Many of these warnings included New York and Washington as targets. 7 



Introduction 1 i 

Before we move on, consider another salient demonstration that Condi Rice 
and the President were lying: On August 21, 2002, the Associated Press published 
the following story, so shocking in the context of the administration's claims that 
I'll quote it at length: 

(AP)-(Washington)-In what the government describes as a bizarre 
coincidence, one U.S. intelligence agency was planning an exercise 
last Sept. 1 1 in which an errant aircraft crashed into one of its build- 
ings. But the cause wasn't terrorism — it was to be a simulated 
accident. Officials at the Chantilly, Va.-based National Reconnaissance 
Office had scheduled an exercise that morning in which a small cor- 
porate jet crashed into one of the four towers at the agency's 
headquarters building after experiencing a mechanical failure. The 
agency is about four miles from the runways of Washington-Dulles 
International Airport. 

Agency chiefs came up with the scenario to test employees' ability 
to respond to a disaster, said spokesman Art Haubold. To simulate the 
damage from the plane, some stairwells and exits were to be closed off, 
forcing employees to find other ways to evacuate the building. 'It was 
just an incredible coincidence that this happened to involve an aircraft 
crashing into our facility,' Haubold said. As soon as the real world 
events began, we canceled the exercise.' 

Adding to the coincidence, American Airlines Flight 77 — the 
Boeing 767 that was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon — took 
off from Dulles at 8:10 a.m. on Sept. 1 1, 50 minutes before the exer- 
cise was to begin. It struck the Pentagon around 9:40 a.m., killing 64 
aboard the plane and 125 on the ground. The National Reconnaissance 
Office operates many of the nation's spy satellites. It draws its person- 
nel from the military and the CIA. 

An announcement for an upcoming homeland security conference 
in Chicago first noted the exercise: In a promotion for speaker John 
Fulton, a CIA officer assigned as chief of NRO's strategic gaming divi- 
sion, the announcement says, 'On the morning of September 11th 
2001, Mr. Fulton and his team ... were running a pre-planned simu- 
lation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created 
if a plane were to strike a building. Little did they know that the sce- 
nario would come true in a dramatic way that day' 

The running of such an exercise is an excellent method of confusing emer- 
gency response personnel (for instance, pilots) who are trying to do their jobs. 
They expect a drill of a specific but utterly unlikely scenario; the scenario 
begins to unfold as expected, but then they're told it's not a drill — is it a drill, 
or not? 



12 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



The intelligence/criminal wall 

One of the hottest themes in the well-watched hearings of the so-called inde- 
pendent 9/11 commission in April of 2004 was that there was an alleged wall 
between law enforcement activities at the FBI and other agencies and the intelli- 
gence side of the FBI and the CIA which prohibited the sharing of information 
that might have prevented the attacks. This theme was sung like choir practice by 
virtually every witness who testified during the week from Condoleezza Rice, to 
Janet Reno, to John Ashcroft, to Louis Freeh, to Robert Mueller. 

How does that reconcile with the following statement from a RAND 
Corporation study on terrorism from 2001? The RAND Corporation was formed 
as a think tank by the CIA and the US Air Force in the 1950s. 

Finally, it is important to note that efforts to prevent or disrupt terror- 
ist action frequently are successful, and these activities have reduced the 
number of terrorist incidents that would have occurred in the absence 
of these activities: 

Disruption of terrorist events by working with foreign intelligence 
and law enforcement services has proved profitable; U.S. intelligence 
agencies prevented Osama bin Laden's organization from carrying out 
at least seven vehicle bomb attacks on U.S. facilities since August 
1998 (Kelly, 1999, p.lA), and U.S. intelligence has conducted suc- 
cessful disruption operations in as many as 10 countries in the six 
months up to March 1999 (Associated Press, 1999). 

In actual operations and special events, agencies generally coordi- 
nated their activities. For example, we examined several overseas 
counterterrorist operations and found that agencies generally followed 
the draft interagency International Guidelines. DoD, the FBI, and the 
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) performed their respective roles in 
military planning, law enforcement and intelligence gathering under 
the oversight of the State Department (e.g., the ambassador). Minor 
interagency tensions or conflicts during these operations were resolved 
and did not appear to have posed risk to the mission. 

In a similar vein, FBI data on terrorism in the United States sug- 
gest a reasonably high degree of success in terrorism prevention 
activities at home — only a small annual number of actual terrorist 
incidents occurred in recent years, and more preventions of terrorist 
incidents than actual incidents. 8 

A detective's strategy, a lawyer's thinking, 
a political war 

At a crime scene the detective's job includes many tasks. He or she first determines 
that a crime has been committed. After that the priorities are to collect physical 



Introduction 13 



evidence and preserve it for scientific analysis, interview witnesses and evaluate 
possible suspects, attempt to reconstruct the crime and establish guilt. 

Most of a detective's work involves the interviewing of witnesses and the inter- 
rogation of suspects. Anyone who has ever watched a crime drama has seen this 
(my favorite is Detective Andy Sipowicz of NYPD Blue). There's a reason why 
these dramatic dialogues are so important. Statements made by witnesses and sus- 
pects to detectives are considered direct evidence in court. Any other dialogue 
usually amounts to hearsay that is almost always inadmissible. Many 9/11 activists 
are still arguing with each other — as are JFK assassination researchers 40 years 
later — over pieces of physical evidence. Courts will not listen to such dialogue or 
debate between people who are not directly involved in the case. Absent a real 
court to control the debate, arguments about physical evidence stand an even 
smaller chance of compelling admissible revelations of guilt. They have done noth- 
ing to change the political landscape of the United States. 

Let me say quite clearly that I have no other objective than to do just that: 
change the political landscape of the United States. In the matter of 9/1 1, I con- 
sider all other standards vain and irrelevant. 

Another reason why the statements of suspects and witnesses are valuable is 
because they are usually verifiable without any reliance upon expert testimony or 
scientific analysis. For example, "I was at Joe's bar until 2 a.m." This statement can 
be checked quickly; if the check falsifies it, everyone can understand its significance. 

Scientific evidence is more troublesome. It tends to make little or no sense to a 
layperson until it's explained by an expert. And that necessary mediation introduces 
a potential for distortion, misleading emphasis, or outright deception. Courts have 
procedures for deciding who may and who may not give expert testimony, and non- 
expert opinions count for very little. In most cases they are not even admissible. 

So the investigation of statements from suspects and witnesses has been my 
steadfast approach to 9/11 and its greater context. It was through this strategy, I 
believed, that the trial in the public media might ultimately compel a real one. 

I have testified as an expert 27 times in narcotics cases, sometimes in jury tri- 
als. After having been questioned by attorneys for both sides (and sometimes even 
the judge) I was permitted to offer an expert opinion under oath. What I observed 
was that, depending upon the amount of money the defendant had, the number 
of experts that could be called upon to refute me and contest the scientific/physi- 
cal evidence was limitless. In many cases, experts with a half-dozen academic 
degrees literally prostituted themselves for generous fees. The case of 9/11, now 
being tried in our metaphorical court of the corporate media and public percep- 
tion, leaves no doubt as to who could produce more expert witness testimony or 
present them in the most impressive manner. 

Prosecutors and investigators usually want to avoid this kind of courtroom 
debate because of its numbing effect on the jury's mind and its ultimate lack of 
clarity. Fingerprints are one thing. It is something else to analyze the temperature 



14 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



at which steel is weakened and determining whether or not an unproven amount 
of burning jet fuel, in unspecified concentrations and unknown locations could 
have weakened steel supports in the World Trade Center to the point where an 
unspecified amount of weight might cause them to buckle. Backtracking that 
avenue of inquiry was also made impossible by the immediate removal and 
destruction of debris right after the attacks — before it had been examined by law 
enforcement personnel. Such a debate would be useless anyway, unless and until a 
legal proceeding — the second trial — had been initiated in a real courtroom. 
Experience has also taught me that in major cases the court system is extremely 
vulnerable to manipulation and corruption. 

The quickest way to make the case of 9/11 would be to force the suspects, in 
this case the Bush administration and the intelligence community, to engage in a 
sort of proxy interrogation where their answers could be checked against a known 
record. That is, in effect, the strategy I chose to pursue from the day of the attacks. 
It would be much different, however, from television's Andy Sipowicz and a sus- 
pect sitting alone in an interrogation room. It would involve the publication of 
articles, activism, public and political pressure to the point where the suspects 
would have to say something in public in response. The 9/11 movement as a whole 
has been remarkably effective in making that happen. 

Almost every major question about the government's activities before, during, 
and after 9/11 was first posed by my newsletter From The Wilderness. So this simple 
strategy has proven effective, and has met with considerable understanding and emu- 
lation. Many of these unanswered questions still reverberate in the pages of the New 
York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the major TV networks, TIME, 
Newsweek, and CNN. Of necessity, then, the struggle to find the truth and lies of 9/ 1 1 
has been a political and public relations struggle as well as an investigative one, 
requiring a completely different set of talents and skills from those needed by a detec- 
tive. These were skills I acquired as a political activist and, among other things, as the 
Los Angeles County press spokesman for the 1992 Perot presidential campaign. 9 

Most homicides are solved within 72 hours of the crime. The bogus cover story 
appeared almost immediately. 10 But a huge collective effort has kept 9/11 in the 
public eye, expanding the window of opportunity for a real resolution. That win- 
dow is now closing rapidly, and once the "official" inquiries into 9/11 are declared 
complete, it may be too late for any successful change in the American political 
landscape. Nor am I referring specifically to the particular portions of the political 
landscape directly affected by the attacks — say, aviation, intelligence reform, or 
greater accountability in agencies like the NSA. No, the entire continuum of pub- 
lic and private life in the United States has been transformed by 9/1 1, the lengthy 
preparations for it, the ensuing cover-up, and the massive consolidation of author- 
itarian policies and institutions achieved in its wake. In short, I maintain that unless 
this phenomenon is exposed at its roots, the fundamental changes it has wrought 
will become permanent. That would constitute the death of the American republic. 



Introduction is 



A context on the way to a motive 

Benito Mussolini once said, "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, 
since it is the merger of state and corporate power." In fact, during the 1920s and 
1930s "fascism" and "corporatism" were often used interchangeably in public dis- 
course. In his January 2003 State of the Union speech, George W. Bush referred to 
the evils of the twentieth century as "Hitlerism, Communism, and Militarism." He 
could not bring himself to say "fascism," because he is — by definition — a fascist. 

The interchangeability of the terms "corporatism" and "fascism" has long been 
established by traditionally progressive critics who document the amazingly large 
scale of American corporate welfare and the impact of corporate lobbyists on pub- 
lic policy. This represents an institutionalized and ongoing attack on democracy, 
where the benefits of national wealth are privatized while the costs are socialized; 
the public pays for its own victimization through waste, fraud, and abuse; and the 
government sells to the highest bidder its capacity to protect the general popula- 
tion. That's been clear for a long time, and though it's a very important discourse, 
I am not repeating it here. 

American fascism is something different now (and while I admire much of the 
work of these progressives, I am not one of them). It's not just private, elite con- 
trol over the legal system, nor private evasion of the rule of law. It's a crisis-induced 
transition from a society with a deeply compromised legal system to a society 
where force and surveillance completely supplant that system. Although the appar- 
ent crisis is about terrorism, the real one is about energy scarcity. At the beginning 
of this book I document both the reality and the catastrophic implications of this 
epochal energy crisis. Because it's so central to the emergent new order of things in 
the United States (which determines US action abroad), an incisive account of the 
energy issue also explains the real functioning of the world's economy — and who 
controls it, and how this shapes so much of our daily lives. I begin the book with 
that story because without it, 9/11 seems like little more than a particularly horri- 
ble episode of mass murder (in a word, terrorism). But on this larger explanatory 
foundation, the evidence will inexorably prove our case: that the United States 
government not only had complete foreknowledge of the attacks of September 11, 
it also needed them and deliberately facilitated them, and even helped plan and 
execute them using techniques long understood in the world of covert operations. 
Once you understand the economic and financial forces governing the global 
economy, then the overwhelming evidence of the guilt of both the Bush and 
Clinton administrations, instead of being hard to believe, will suddenly appear to 
be unavoidable. That's a large statement, and nobody should take it on trust. 

Knowing what we all now know about the deceptions used to "sell" the occu- 
pation of Iraq, can we afford to not question the multitude of contradictions, lies, 
falsehoods, and cover-ups surrounding the events of 9/1 1? It is in the examination 
of those lies that we uncover the real State of the Union. At this point in history 
no one can rationally say that the Bush administration is incapable of lying. 



16 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Since January 2001, my newsletter From The Wilderness (FTW) has correctly 
predicted or reported historical developments, sometimes as much as a year before 
they happened. Our working model has continually produced a navigable, accu- 
rate map of the near future. The methodology is like the protocols followed by a 
detective when developing a case. "Okay," one says to oneself, "if Bill's wife really 
did hire a hit man to kill him, there should be some record connecting a flow of 
money from her to the shooter." Finding the connection strengthens the working 
model. Failing to find it either doesn't help the model or weakens it. In more than 
100 separate articles and all of my investigations since 9/111 have found nothing 
to weaken my working model, only facts which have strengthened it. And I adhere 
to the same ethical standards a detective must adhere to. If I find something that 
exonerates my suspect then I must report it. For many detectives, the kind that I 
worked with and wanted to become, this is a matter of honor. 

Sometimes, however, the problem is not with the facts. 

We can look at a road map and say that if we are headed eastbound on 
Interstate 10 in southeastern New Mexico, then the next major city is El Paso. In 
the same way, we can look at a map of how the world works, determine our posi- 
tion and direction, and know what is likely to come next. One obstacle that must 
be overcome, however, is the inherent unwillingness of the human race to honest- 
ly admit where they really are. It is useless, while sitting in Chicago, to start driving 
east with a wishful expectation of getting to El Paso. And yet, millions of 
Americans are doing just that when they insist that the United States is a great and 
free nation; that it didn't do anything wrong; that its economy is the best, the 
healthiest, and the cleanest in the world; and that it never victimizes other nations. 

2 + 2 = 4 

In the classic dystopian novel 1984 George Orwell wrote, "Freedom is the freedom 
to say two plus two equals four. If that is granted, all else follows." The totalitari- 
an power of Orwell's nightmare state couldn't be maintained without the 
successful eradication of precisely this freedom. 

In May 1999 I had an experience that crystallized something I had known for 
a long time, but had never seen so clearly. At a sparsely attended and self-congrat- 
ulatory "People's Tribunal," I witnessed the burial rite for an important issue that, 
had it been fully pursued, might have prevented the attacks of September 11, 
2001. The subject of the tribunal, being held on a Saturday at the University of 
Southern California, was the drug war and the CIA's connections to the drug 
trade. Two and a half years earlier, the nation had been aflame after Pulitzer Prize- 
winning journalist Gary Webb reported on incendiary documents and witnesses 
linking the Agency directly to the crack cocaine epidemic that devastated America's 
inner cities during the 1980s. 

What happened to Webb and his stories remains an object lesson for researchers 
and activists in the post-9/1 1 world. Members of Congress such as Maxine Waters 



Introduction 17 



of California, who had once vowed to make the issue her "life's work," presided over 
the demise of the story. Webb, pilloried by the media and punished by his employ- 
er the San Jose Mercury News, had in 1997 and 1998 been thoroughly vindicated 
by Congressional investigations. Webb's greatest vindication of all came in the form 
of a CIA Inspector General (IG) report released in a declassified version by CIA 
Director George Tenet on October 8, 1998 — one hour after Congressman Henry 
Hyde's House Judiciary Committee had voted out articles of impeachment against 
William Jefferson Clinton. 11 

Something got lost in the news that day. The cover letters and the summaries of 
the IG report, which is still on the CIA website, said that the exhaustive investiga- 
tion had found no evidence that the CIA had done anything seriously wrong. Those 
who actually read the entire report, however, found devastating and damning admis- 
sions of criminal behavior on the part of the CIA and Vice President George Herbert 
Walker Bush. We have seen that pattern repeated over and over since 9/11. 

Webb was an "Enemy of the State" in the minds of most Americans. He had 
challenged their sacred beliefs. Representative Waters, however, had seen her pres- 
ident safely through the impeachment and then gone strangely silent about a 
report that could have toppled a government and changed the world. The truth 
often gets traded too cheaply, and the victim of such trades is always the future. 

I had been through similar experiences during the Iran-Contra scandal. I had 
read about, and later interviewed, others who had the same experiences in the case 
of POWs and MIAs abandoned in Southeast Asia after the Vietnam War. I had 
studied how the investigation into the murder of President John F. Kennedy had 
been controlled. I had also acquired personally painful and verifiable knowledge 
that the murder of John's brother Robert was a CIA operation. All the goodwill 
and energy of the researcher-activists in each of these cases was deliberately and 
meticulously sabotaged by interested parties and their allies in the dominant polit- 
ical class. 12 

By May of 1999 what should have been hundreds of thousands of people in 
the street and a massive government scandal had dwindled to about a hundred or 
so apparatchiks who would wave the People's Tribunal as evidence of their leader- 
ship. I laughed with pity as they returned to the beltway to ask for larger grants 
from their patrons, major foundations and other institutionally compromised 
entities. The people who ran the tribunals were ultimately beholden to the same 
powers that had created the problem in the first place. Experts with compromised 
wallets had staged a controlled burn of brief outrage, cooling rapidly to insou- 
ciance. The inconsistencies were soon forgotten. 

There's an old saying that in a ham and eggs breakfast, the chicken is involved, 
but the pig is committed. None of us who were convinced of the urgency of the 
CIA-drug story and who were heartbroken by its burial doubted that unless peo- 
ple found the courage to deal with the problem, something much worse — 
something as bad as 9/1 1 — was certain to happen. 



18 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Yet one speaker at the USC event, retired San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara, 
gave me something powerful to take away. He said: "When Richard Nixon start- 
ed the War on Drugs in 1972 the federal budget allocation for the war on drugs 
was $101 million. Today the federal budget allocation is $20 billion. And yet today 
there are more drugs in this country, they are less expensive, and they are of better 
quality than they were in 1972." 

Pigs listen harder than chickens do. There were only two plausible ways to 
interpret that amazing fact. One could assume that a twenty-seven-year failure, 
despite a budget almost 200 times greater than when it began, and despite the 
application of the best minds in politics and law enforcement, was somehow the 
result of a collective and contagious stupidity. Not only had these people been neg- 
ligent and incompetent, their budgets had been increased as a reward. This is 
exactly what we are being asked to accept about the attacks of September 1 1, 2001. 
Even in the arguably less urgent matter of illicit drug proliferation, a sane person 
should have demanded a total restructuring of the contaminated government enti- 
ties, mass firings, and a serious strategy review. It was our money, the product of 
our labor, and our children's lives that these failures had wasted. 

On the other hand, one could infer that this state of affairs — having been 
managed by the most educated and influential elite in the country — reflected 
exactly what was intended: a global drug economy that generated an estimated 
$600 - $700 billion a year in liquid cash profits from which someone was deriv- 
ing great benefit. Who? 

Occam's Razor (a principle of reasoning associated with medieval thinker 
William of Ockham, 1288 - 1327) recommends choosing the simplest workable 
explanation for a phenomenon. In that moment of clarity I had a vision of the 
degree of reality-twisting, pretzel-bending logic in which the "experts" had 
engaged. They had orchestrated the destruction and marginalization of people 
who held mirrors up to their irrationality. In the post-9/ 1 1 world, we live with the 
ultimate insanity that this thinking has produced. 

When a flock of birds suddenly changes direction, simultaneously and uniform- 
ly, is it a conspiracy? Or is it just an instant recognition by every member of the flock 
where their collective interests lie? 

It was at USC that I began to understand that the people shielding the system, 
and the knowingly guilty perpetrators within it, were hiding a truth that threat- 
ened all of them, the way psychologically sick families sometimes hide the sexual 
violation of their own children by a relative. I remembered the words of psychiatrist 
Carl Jung: "The foundation of all mental illness is the unwillingness to experience 
legitimate suffering." 

2+2 = Oil 

Today we have an empire that is defined by nothing but limits: limits on the avail- 
able territory for occupation and expansion, limits on nonrenewable resources, and 



Introduction 19 



above all, limits on the one resource that has propelled the human race to over- 
expand and upon which the species is now dependent: hydrocarbon energy. Much 
more than any other industrialized society, contemporary America is an empire in 
deep trouble. Most of us know something about the colossal debt, the unprece- 
dented trade imbalance, the dollar's precarious position, steep income 
polarization, endemic militarism, imperial overstretch, and a host of other woes 
that can still be repaired with sufficient resolve. But there is something waiting in 
the darkness, close enough that our civilization can already feel its presence, even 
if that feeling is only slowly forcing its way into conscious awareness. Just outside 
our ability to cope with upsetting information, an increasingly rapid stream of 
data and experience is ushering in what may be the most significant event in 
human history: the end of the age of oil. 

In 100 years mankind has used up one-half (if not more) of all the oil on the 
planet. 13 The key is not the "half". Oil is not water in a glass. It's hard to get, and 
it gets harder to pump as reservoirs dry up; the biggest fields run dry, and newer 
fields are both smaller and harder to exploit. Once the midpoint is reached, oil 
production inevitably diminishes forever. If the midpoint is reached while demand 
soars, conflict is inevitable. 

A simple exercise 

Take a 20-dollar bill out of your wallet and set it in front of you. Now take a glass 
of water and set it next to the cash. Pretend that the glass represents a barrel of oil. 
Look at them both for second. Then ask yourself a question: What do they repre- 
sent? If you keep distilling your answers down to their purest essence, you will see 
that the money and the oil both represent the same thing: the ability to do work. 
Both are useless if there is nothing to buy, drive or eat. 

And yet our economic system, what we call capitalism but which is really some- 
thing else, is predicated on debt, fractional reserve banking, derivative financing, 
and fiat currency. Therefore it requires that there must be limitless growth into 
infinity for it to survive. Growth is not possible without energy. 

Now look at the barrel of oil and realize that the earth is a closed sphere, and 
that without the oil and natural gas, the financial system is doomed. There is noth- 
ing on our horizon — other than wishful thinking — that can completely replace 
hydrocarbon energy. The surest way to see this is to realize that, as the human race 
starts down the inevitable slope of shrinking oil and gas supplies, we have seen no 
hydrogen powered F 18 Hornets or Ml Abrams tanks. We have seen no vegetable 
oil-powered Bradley fighting vehicles or solar powered guided missile frigates. 

There are many factors that the rulers of the American empire now have to 
manage as they read their own delusional map of the world. They have to: 

• Apportion dwindling resources among competitors, some of whom pos- 
sess nuclear weapons; 



20 



CROSSING THE RUBICON 



• Maintain and expand their control over enough of the oil and gas 
remaining to ensure their global dominance and maintain order among 
the citizens of the Empire; 

• Simultaneously manage a global economic system, made possible by 
hydrocarbon energy, that is collapsing and in which the growing popu- 
lation is demanding more things that can only be supplied by using still 
more hydrocarbon energy; 

• Acknowledge that they cannot save their own economy without selling 
more of these products; 

• Control the exploding demand for oil and gas through engineered reces- 
sions and wars that break national economies; 

• Hide the evidence that they are systematically looting the wealth of all 
the people on the planet — even their own people — in order to main- 
tain control; 

• Maintain a secret revenue stream to provide enough off-the-books capi- 
tal for the purposes of providing themselves a distinct economic and 
military advantage, improving their technological posture, and funding 
covert operations; 

• Repress any dissent and head off any exposure of their actions; 

• Convince the population that they are honorable; 

• Kill off enough of the world's population so that they can maintain con- 
trol after oil supplies have dwindled to the point of energy starvation. 

In the case of the War on Drugs, I infer that the result of some 30 years of effort, 
fueled by billions of dollars and managed by the "best and the brightest," is exact- 
ly what was intended. This is the premise from which I began looking at the events 
of September 11, 2001, as I watched the second airliner hit the World Trade Center. 

I do not claim to have presented or reconciled every fact. That rarely happens 
in a complicated homicide investigation. The tasks of the investigator are to pro- 
duce a reasonable explanation based upon evidence that establishes probability, 
and to eliminate reasonable doubt that a crime was committed and that the guilty 
have been successfully identified. 

If I can make a case in this book that explains these events, identifies the sus- 
pects, and makes more sense than any other interpretation of the available and 
demonstrable facts; if I can then get it out in a way that further empowers our col- 
lective learning; if that helps to break down the destructively false paradigm that 
governs so much of our life today — then I have contributed something that is 
hope-giving for all of us. Otherwise, the future looks pretty grim. 
This is a race against time. 

Michael C. Ruppert 
April 21, 2004 



CHAPTER 



Petroleum Man 

Global demand for oil and natural gas is growing faster than new supplies are 
being found, and the world population is exploding. Currently the world 
uses between four and six barrels of oil for every new barrel that it finds, and the 
trend is getting worse. 1 Natural gas use is exploding while the rate of new gas dis- 
coveries (especially on the North American continent) is plunging. 2 

According to most experts — including Colin Campbell, one of the world's 
foremost oil experts with decades of experience in senior geologist, upper manage- 
ment, and executive positions with companies including BP, Amoco, FINA, and 
Texaco — there are only about one trillion barrels of accessible conventional oil 
remaining on the planet. 3 Presently the world uses approximately 82 mb/d (mil- 
lion barrels per day). Even if demand remained unchanged, which it clearly will 
not, that would mean that the world will run out of conventional oil within thir- 
ty-five years. Oil, however, does not flow like water from a bottle. Since the world's 
population and the demand for oil and natural gas are increasing rapidly by rea- 
sonable estimates, the world supply of conventional oil is limited to perhaps 20 
years. It's a common mistake to assume that oil will flow in a steady stream and 
then suddenly stop one day. Instead, the stream will gradually diminish in volume, 
with occasional small increases, even as the number of people "drinking" from that 
stream, and the amount they consume explodes. 

Other issues compound the problem. As fields deplete, oil becomes increasing- 
ly expensive to produce. These costs must be passed on to consumers. 

Not all oil in the ground is recoverable. When it takes more energy to pump a 
barrel of oil than is obtained by burning it, the field is considered dead, regardless of 
how much oil remains. Unconventional substitutes are extremely expensive and 
problematic to produce. Tar sands, oil shale, deep water, and polar oil sources have 
severe limitations. Canadian tar sands development is proving disappointing 
because it requires large quantities of fresh water and natural gas to make steam, 
which is a necessary part of the extraction process. Natural gas cost and fresh water 
shortages are already limiting production, and the material costs for the energy 
needed to make the energy have already begun to curtail production. 

22 



PETROLEUM MAN 23 



The same problems afflict the development of shale, deep water, and polar reserves. 
They are currently too expensive to develop in quantity, and when exceptions arise, 
they're too small to mitigate Peak Oil. Even the best-case "fantasy" scenarios for these 
energy sources don't change the picture much. To learn more about this I recommend 
two web sites: <www.peakoil.net>, and <www.hubbertpeak.com>. 

I'm capitalizing the phrase "Peak Oil" to indicate that it's a historical event. It's 
an unavoidable, utterly transformative crisis, and an increasing body of evidence 
suggests two major consequences. I'll state them here in the starkest terms; later 
I'll add reassuring qualifiers and a few formulations that might be more palatable. 
But it comes to this: first, in order to prevent the extinction of the human race, 
the world's population must be reduced by as many as four billion people. Second, 
especially since 9/11, this reality has been secretly accepted and is being acted 
upon by world leaders. In this chapter I marshal the evidence for this disturbing 
pair of hypotheses which, taken together, constitute the ultimate motive for the 
attacks of September 11th, 2001. 

What have hydrocarbons done for you lately? 

Oil and natural gas are close cousins. In nature the two are often found very close 
together because they can originate from the same geologic processes, under con- 
ditions that have existed only rarely in the Earth's four-billion-year history. Oil and 
gas are hydrocarbons that come from dead algae and other plant life. There are 
biological traces in oil proving that it came from living matter. 4 Since the earth is 
a closed biosphere, oil and gas are finite, non-renewable resources. The world has 
used half (if not more) of all the hydrocarbons created over millions of years in just 
about one hundred years. 5 

According to Richard Duncan, PhD in 1999 approximately 95 percent of all 
transportation was powered by oil. And 50 percent of all oil produced is used for 
transportation purposes. No other energy source even comes close to oil's conven- 
ience, power, and efficiency. 6 

Oil pervades our civilization; it is all around you. The shell for your computer 
is made from it. Your food comes wrapped in it. You brush your hair and teeth 
with it. There's probably some in your shampoo, and most certainly its container. 
Your children's toys are made from it. You take your trash out in it. It makes your 
clothes soft in the dryer. As you change the channels with the TV remote you hold 
it in your hands. Some of your furniture is probably made with it. It is everywhere 
inside your car. It is used in both the asphalt you drive on and the tires that meet 
the road. It probably covers the windows in your home. When you have surgery, 
the anesthesiologist slides it down your esophagus. Your prescription medicine is 
contained in it. Your bartender sprays the mixer for your drink through it. Oh yes, 
and the healthy water you carry around with you comes packaged in it. 

Be careful. If you decide that you want to throw this book out, your trashcan 
is probably made from it. And if you want to call and tell me what a scaremonger 



24 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

I am, you will be holding it in your hands as you dial. And if you wear corrective 
lenses, you will probably be looking through it as you write down a number with 
a pen that is made from it. Plastic is a petroleum product, and its price is every 
bit as sensitive to supply shortages as gasoline. Oil companies do not charge a sig- 
nificantly different price for oil they sell to a plastics company than they charge a 
gas station owner. If the wellhead price goes up, then every downstream use is 
affected. 

If you live in the United States and the power generating station that serves 
your community was built within the last 25 years, natural gas is probably pro- 
viding you with the electricity that powers the bulb illuminating this book. 
According to figures supplied by the US government, some 90 percent of all new 
electrical generating stations will be gas powered. Vice President Cheney's "energy 
task force," the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG), stated in 
summer 2001 that "to meet projected demand over the next two decades America 
must have in place between 1,300 and 1,900 new electric plants. Much of this new 
generation will be fueled by natural gas." 7 

Oil is also critical for our food supply. Quantitatively speaking, modern food 
production consumes ten calories of energy for every calorie contained in the 
food. 8 When the farmer (or more likely the "agribusiness employee") goes out to 
plant seeds, she drives a vehicle powered by oil. After planting she sprays the crop 
with fertilizers made from ammonia, which comes from natural gas. Then she 
sprays them several times with pesticides made from oil. She irrigates the crops 
with water that most likely has also been pumped by electricity generated by coal, 
oil, or gas. Oil powers the harvest, transportation to processing plant, processing, 
refrigeration, and transport to the grocery store (to which you, the consumer, drive 
an oil-powered vehicle) . 

You may pay for it with a piece of oil that you carry around in your wallet. 
Then you take it home, cook it by means of either electricity or natural gas, and 
eat it on a plate that may have been made from oil, after which you wash the plate 
with a synthetic sponge that is also made of oil. 

Consider this: out of six and a half billion people, there are about four billion 
who don't have, and who want, all of the things I have just described. The current 
world economy is inherently committed to endless growth, and while physically 
impossible, this illusion is to be chased after by driving the poor countries into a 
globalized market for cheap goods. Haiti, for instance, has had its domestic rice 
farming ruined by American export dumping. When the Haitian farmers could no 
longer underbid the American rice in Haitian markets, they moved off the land 
and became urban unemployed. Then the Americans raised rice prices to crippling 
levels. So Haiti is a captive market, but it's a market nonetheless. Similar develop- 
ing countries are slowly acquiring more purchasing power and the industrialized 
world is gaining a foothold in their domestic economies by targeting them for 
cheap exports. One way or another, the have-nots must become consumers. 



PETROLEUM MAN 25 



Food 

How important are hydrocarbons to food production? One recognized oil expert 
puts it this way: "If the fertilizers, partial irrigation, and pesticides were withdrawn, 
corn yields, for example, would drop from 130 bushels per acre to about 30 
bushels." 9 That's bad news in more ways than you can think. The same applies in 
varying degrees to any crop: wheat, alfalfa, lettuce, celery, onions, tomatoes; any- 
thing that commercial agriculture produces. Oil and gas are irreplaceable if the 
world is to continue pumping out enough food to feed 6.5 billion people. And that 
says nothing about the additional 2.5 billion that are projected to be here before the 
middle of this century. Organic farming or permaculture is responsible and respect- 
ful of nature and may ultimately be nearly as productive as hydrocarbon-based 
agriculture. But the infrastructure is not in place to implement it. You could ask 
several billion people to stop eating for a year or two while we switch over and work 
out the bugs. Do you want to volunteer? Would you volunteer your children? 

So what about all the beef cattle, pigs, and chickens that feed on grain and corn? 
Would you be prepared to pay $50 for a Big Mac if there were severe grain shortages? 
How about a $25 chicken breast? That would be a quality problem for an American, 
as opposed to someone in Africa or Asia who lived off of crops and food products sold 
by globalized agriculture in case there was nothing locally grown. You have always 
been told that these people just weren't as productive as we are. It's not true; they don't 
have the oil and the natural gas that we do. The United States contains 5 percent 
of the world's population and currently consumes 25 percent of the world's energy. 10 

Growth 

Oil also powers more than 600 million vehicles worldwide. 11 Would you pay for a 
$50,000 car and pay $5 a gallon for gas? $10 per gallon? Could you? In the current 
financial paradigm, the stability of the world's economy depends upon growing rev- 
enues through the sale of more and more vehicles and other products that are useless 
without hydrocarbons. The revenues generated by current customers in developed 
countries won't be enough to sustain future growth, so cars and computers and air 
conditioners are beginning to flow into the new markets of China, Asia, and Africa. 
Those populations don't have these energy-guzzling machines (nor the myriad petro- 
leum-derived plastic consumer goods enjoyed in the relatively high-wage countries), 
but they quite clearly desire them — especially the younger generation, whose pur- 
chasing power is growing at the fastest rate. As their economies grow more robust, 
wages rise and the consumers' desire becomes actual economic demand. 

For the moment, much of the developing world remains ravaged by massive, 
artificially engineered debt to the World Bank and the IMF. But rising literacy 
rates and the correlative falling birthrates in many regions promise a massive 
expansion in consumer spending. 12 And this has already begun: Chinese auto sales 
are exploding. According to one report, 2002 Chinese auto sales jumped by more 
than 50 percent. 13 GM's auto sales in China jumped by 300 percent in 2002 alone. 14 



26 



CROSSING THE RUBICON 



6000 




Years Anno Domini 



If there is no growth in revenue for 
the corporations that make and sell 
these things, then what is left of 
your 401(k) plan will be worthless. 
And you might even be out of a job 
yourself 

Colin Campbell has rightly iden- 
tified a subspecies of Homo sapiens 
that he calls Petroleum Man. He pro- 
vided me with this population graph 
that shows the effect of hydrocarbons 
on the planet since their introduc- 
tion. The little dip around 1400 was 
caused by the bubonic plague. 15 

A number of environmentalists 
have been sanely and prophetically 
decrying the destruction of the bios- 
phere for decades. This is another 
key part of the equation. They have 
pointed to alternative energy sup- 
plies such as wind, solar, geothermal, 
and biomass as steps toward pro- 
tecting the ecosystem. But very few 
understand the infrastructural prob- 
lems that must be addressed if the 
crisis is to be solved in any rational 
manner. Peak Oil will likely turn 
human civilization inside out long 
before global warming does, unless 
— oil and gas shortages elicit a trag- 



— and there are signs that this is happening - 
ically shortsighted return to coal. 

Given the hundreds of thousands of non-combatant deaths in the resource wars 
of Afghanistan, Iraq, and so many other places; given the deaths in Europe and 
Asia from extreme weather conditions in both summer and winter months; given 
the murderous, smoldering conflict in Nigeria and other oil-rich countries where 
corporate power combines with the forces of local warlords; given all this, Peak Oil 
is killing us now. That, and the argument that these are the merest hints of what Peak 
Oil is going to bring, is the message of this book. 

Making rational assessments 

As I traveled throughout the US, Canada, and Australia in 2002 giving my lecture 
called "The Truth and Lies of 9/11," I was routinely asked by youthful activists 



PETROLEUM MAN 27 



about an immediate changeover to alternative energy sources. I first asked if they 
wanted to layoff tens of millions of people in the oil, shipping, and auto indus- 
tries, in car dealerships, garages, and gas stations while all the factories and 
ancillary services were retooled. That process might take decades. Who, I asked, 
would pay the mortgages for the people thrown out of work? What would happen 
to the supermarkets, the banks (credit cards), the dry cleaners, et cetera, if all of 
these people suddenly stopped making payments? Who would make up the tax 
revenues that these people no longer paid? Who would finance all the capital 
investment needed to convert us over to alternative vehicles? And, in spite of 
recent promotions about hydrogen, as of October 2002 the federal government is 
still fighting tooth and nail to keep electric vehicles from becoming a commercially 
viable reality. 16 The myth of hydrogen salvation is a fantasy of the naive and a cruel 
hoax of the policy makers and business people who know better. 

Remember also that electricity is not a primary energy source, but merely a car- 
rier of energy produced by some other means. Although oil and gas are critical, it 
is electricity, as one scientist put it, that is "the indispensable end-use energy for 
industrial civilization." 17 Once you use an oil-powered vehicle to get to wherever 
you're going, think about what you would find there if there were no electricity. 
Refrigeration is only one of many essential services that come to mind. In 1999 an 
estimated 42 percent of the world's energy was used to produce electricity. Oil ate 
up 39 percent for non-electric uses; gas, 18 percent; and coal a measly 1 percent. 18 
As this book goes to press, there are definite indications that the US is reverting to 
coal-fired plants as quietly as possible with some 94 new coal-fired electric plants 
planned across 36 states. 19 Even conservative Republicans who insist that global 
warming is a myth have acknowledged that burning coal is environmentally 
unsound. Although EPA regulations have made it economically difficult to bring 
new coal-fired plants online, strict retrofitting requirements passed by Congress to 
remove pollutants have been quietly skirted to keep America's electricity flowing. 20 

From a profit standpoint, this new coal rush can only be happening as a 
response to a shortage of the other fossil fuels. This is because the generating plants 
that are designed for oil and natural gas require less investment and regulatory 
oversight to construct, and have much shorter permit approval processes. 

Electric vehicles are an illusory solution. I remember being on one of my 30 
or so commercial flights (made possible by oil) in 2002 and reading an airline 
magazine article about a great new electric car. The author rightly commented 
that all the pollution the vehicle he test-drove was not putting out was, in fact, 
being spewed out by the coal-powered generating station that he had plugged into 
to charge it. In 2002 approximately 50 percent of all electricity in the US was gen- 
erated by older, coal-burning power plants whose replacement is 
cost-prohibitive. 21 Until early 2002 it was officially anticipated that all new gen- 
erating plants would be powered by natural gas. Then, America's energy planners 
encountered a separate problem hidden in plain sight: North American natural 



28 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

gas is running out faster than oil, and it can't be imported as easily without mas- 
sive investment and time lags for the construction of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) 
tankers and terminals. 

Understanding energy 

In 1843 an American physicist named James Prescott Joule discovered a salient fea- 
ture of the way energy behaves: the total inflow of energy into a system must equal 
the total outflow of energy from the system, plus the change in the energy con- 
tained within the system. That fascinating principle will become an important part 
of our story later on, but for now let's note that, in recognition of Joule's achieve- 
ment, his name was adopted as the standard unit for energy. The measure of the 
energy produced by any system can always be expressed in joules, no matter what 
form of energy it is. 

Suffice it to say that there is nothing on the immediate horizon that offers a 
realistic solution to humanity's dependence upon hydrocarbon energy. 

Oil's bell curve 

Every domain of oil production follows a general bell curve, whether it's a single 
oil field in Texas or Kuwait, or a country such as the US or Kazakhstan, or the 
planet as a whole. On a global scale, both oil and gas are nearing their peaks of 
production, at differing rates, and are in an inevitable and irreversible decline. The 
implications of this are staggering. 

It was Dr. M. King Hubbert who, some 50 years ago, plotted the oil depletion 
curve that now bears his name. The Hubbert curve is not only descriptive of deple- 
tions that can be seen and measured in hindsight, it is strikingly predictive of 
resource outcomes that are still in the future. Indeed, Hubbert's fame is based on his 
successful calculation of the 1971 US domestic oil production peak some 14 years 
before the fact. Laughed to scorn at the time, his prediction eventually proved cor- 
rect to within 12 months. Its effect on the astute portion of the geological public 
was like that of the ancient mathematician and philosopher, Thales, who once 
stopped a battle by stepping into the space between the two armies and successful- 
ly predicting a solar eclipse. The eclipse promptly happened, and the astonished 
soldiers all went home. Unfortunately, most of the profit-driven petroleum industry 
is still on the battlefield, only gradually realizing that they're fighting in the dark. 

As FTW's Contributing Editor for Energy, geologist Dale Allen Pfeiffer wrote 
in late 2001: 

US oil production peaked in the early 1970s. To meet its rising energy 
needs after this point, the US became increasingly dependent on foreign 
oil. This paved the way for the Arab oil embargo. By the end of the 
decade, US oil production had begun to decrease irreversibly. Whatever 
anyone tries to say to the contrary, our dependence on foreign oil is 



PETROLEUM MAN 29 



permanent and increasing all the time. Dr. Hubbert was vindicated, and 
his methodology is now the standard for projecting oil production. 22 

Oil is getting more expensive to produce in almost every part of the world. As 
oil fields get older, wells must be drilled deeper or in more hostile conditions, and 
more frequently into reservoirs that either are emptying or are smaller than the 
large fields that were tapped first. The oil thus obtained is also likely to be of infe- 
rior quality and thus more expensive to refine. 23 Almost all there is to be found has 
been found. 24 There are not likely to be any major new discoveries that will make 
a difference in this trend. 

Confirming the last statement IHS, the world's foremost recognized consulting 
firm cataloguing oil reserves and discoveries, announced that in 2003 — for the 
first time since the 1 920s — there was not a single discovery of a field in excess of 
500 million barrels. 25 The significance of this becomes clear when one remembers 
that the planet consumes a billion barrels of oil every 11.5 days. Although tech- 
nological advances are improving extraction rates, the bottom line is that without 
more discoveries, production cannot be increased indefinitely. And global oil dis- 
coveries peaked in the 1960s. 26 

New fields that are being discovered are much smaller than giant fields, and 
they tend to be in less accessible environments, like deep sea or polar regions. New 
discovery trends have been mathematically included in evaluations of the Peak Oil 
model, and they make little difference in the scope or the timing of the outcome. 

Pfeiffer provided FTW with the graphs below. One shows the bell curve for a 
particular region, and the other shows Hubbert's Peak for the planet as a whole. 
The third tracks population and per-capita production of hydrocarbon energy, 
superimposed over energy production, showing that population will overshoot 
production capacity by a large margin. 

The catastrophe made inevitable by these limits is beginning now. This is the 
canvass on which the post-9/1 1 world is being painted. Policy makers, economists, 
the financial markets, and politicians are deceiving the world about how much oil 
and gas are really left. They have to, in order to protect the markets and their jobs. 
They are also misleading the population about what this means. The most 
important of these events is the point in time when demand (need) for hydrocar- 
bons outpaces the planet's ability to give them up. 27 The second is the fact that the 
OPEC nations of the Middle East will peak last, many of them between now and 
20 10. 28 They will soon be supplying up to 40 percent of the world's oil. 29 

Whoever controls the oil in the Eurasian continent, which includes the Middle 
East, the Caspian Basin, and Central Asia, will determine who lives and who dies, 
who eats and who starves. 

The demand for hydrocarbons 

Clearly, short-term and mid-term increases in hydrocarbon energy will be supplied 
by the so-called "swing" producers (countries able to vary production significant- 



30 



CROSSING THE RUBICON 





After Colin J. Campbell & 
Jean H. Laherrere, 
THE END OF CHEAP OIL, 
Sci Am, March 1 998. 



Years 40 



Scenario of world's population and hydrocarbons (liquids + gas) production: 1900-2100 




1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 

year 



PETROLEUM MAN 31 



ly enough to control price or meet demand) like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Nigeria, and 
Venezuela. Saudi Arabia possesses 25 percent of the world's recoverable oil, and 
Iraq possesses 1 1 percent. 30 Yet even in Saudi Arabia, there is an awareness of the 
finite nature of oil. "They have a saying, My father rode a camel, I drive a car, my 
son rides in a jet airplane — his son will ride a camel." 31 In May of 2003 I attend- 
ed an international conference on Peak Oil at the French Institute of Petroleum in 
Paris and was surprised to hear an expert from the Iranian National Oil Company 
describe data showing that Saudi Arabia is already at peak production. He had pre- 
viously acknowledged that Iran passed its peak of production in the 1980s. 32 I 
reported this more than six months before the New York Times issued a report indi- 
cating that Saudi Arabian production had possibly peaked — which set off a 
subsequent round of reactive conferences in Washington, DC, and in certain New 
York financial circles. 33 

Another crucial factor: according to an oil industry executive I interviewed for 
this book, it takes about six weeks to get a drop of oil from the Persian Gulf into 
an American gas tank. If it comes from West Africa it takes about two weeks, and 
if from Venezuela, only four days. 

What was known about Peak Oil and when 

In April 2001 the Council on Foreign Relations and James A. Baker (Secretary of 
State for G.H.W. Bush) published a detailed study of world energy problems. 
Because it was not an official government document and not widely circulated, it 
could come closer to telling the truth without risking panic in the financial mar- 
kets. It confirmed that key elites had been aware of Peak Oil for some time: 

Strong economic growth across the globe and new global demands for 
more energy have meant the end of sustained surplus capacity in 
hydrocarbon fuels and the beginning of capacity limitations. In fact, 
the world is currently precariously close to utilizing all of its available 
global oil production capacity, raising the chances of an oil supply cri- 
sis with more substantial consequences than seen in three decades. 

These choices will affect other US policy objectives: US policy 
toward the Middle East; US policy toward the former Soviet Union 
and China; the fight against international terrorism. 

Meanwhile, across much of the developing world, energy infra- 
structure is being severely tested by the expanding material demands 
of a growing middle class, especially in the high growth, high-popula- 
tion economies of Asia. As demand growth collided with supply and 
capacity limits at the end of the last century, prices rose across the 
energy spectrum, at home and abroad. 34 

The CFR report made clear another chilling point. "Oil price spikes since the 
1940s have always been followed by a recession." 35 This fact has been acknowl- 



32 



CROSSING THE RUBICON 



edged by financial media such as the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and 
the Asia Times. A great many analysts understand, and have written, that one way 
to prolong inevitable decline is by the creation and management of recessions, 
which inevitably reduce demand for oil. People use less gas when they're unem- 
ployed. 

In May 2001 a statement from the National Energy Policy produced by Vice 
President Cheney's National Energy Policy Development Group ( NEPDG) hint- 
ed further at the pending crisis: 

America in the year 200 1 faces the most serious energy shortage since 
the oil embargoes of the 1970s. 

Estimates indicate that over the next 20 years, US oil consumption 
will increase by 33 percent, natural gas consumption by well over 50 
percent, and demand for electricity will rise by 45 percent. 

US energy consumption is expected to increase by about 32 per- 
cent by 2020. 

Between 2000 and 2020, US natural gas demand is projected by 
the Energy Information Administration to increase by more than 50 
percent. 

Yet we produce 39 percent less oil today than we did in 1970 [the 
peak year of production in the US], leaving us ever more reliant on 
foreign suppliers. On our present course, America 20 years from now 
will import nearly two of every three barrels of oil — a condition of 
increased dependency on foreign powers that do not always have 
America's interests at heart. 36 

Lastly we look at an important quote from Zbigniew Brzezinski, former nation- 
al security adviser to Jimmy Carter; intelligence adviser to Presidents Reagan and 
George H.W. Bush ; professor at Johns Hopkins; a co-founder of the Trilateral 
Commission with David Rockefeller; and a member of the CFR. In his 1997 book 
The Grand Chessboard: America's Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, Brzezinski 
wrote: 

The world's energy consumption is bound to vastly increase over the 
next two or three decades. Estimates by the US Department of Energy 
anticipate that world demand will rise by more than 50 percent 
between 1993 and 2015, with the most significant increase in con- 
sumption occurring in the Far East. The momentum of Asia's economic 
development is already generating massive pressures for the explo- 
ration and exploitation of new sources of energy, and the Central 
Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves 
of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, 
or the North Sea. 37 



PETROLEUM MAN 33 



What "Zbig" didn't say was that the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico have 
passed their production peaks. Kuwait, however, may not peak for about ten years. 
It is currently estimated to have about nine percent of all the oil on the planet. 38 

What Brzezinski should have said was that the oil (and gas) sources in the 
Central Asian Republics and the Caspian Sea Basin were — at the time he wrote 
the book — estimated to contain perhaps 200 billion barrels of oil. But according 
to Colin Campbell (citing actual drilling records), between October 2000 and 
October 2002 exploratory wells showed that there is not one deep pool of oil in 
Central Asia, but a series of separated pockets, which have produced revised esti- 
mates of only 40 billion barrels. There is however, in Qatar, a huge deposit of 
natural gas that could significantly soften the blow when natural gas supplies 
(which tend to fall off a cliff rather than politely declining down a bell curve) run 
out. Because of energy losses in conversion to liquefied natural gas (LNG) and in 
reversion back into gaseous form during and after extremely expensive shipping, 
those reserves will most likely benefit countries that can be reached by pipeline, or 
those which can afford the cost of LNG. 

Regarding Caspian Basin oil, Campbell told FTW'm an October, 2002, interview: 

There was talk of the place holding over 200 Gb [billion barrels] (I 
think emanating from the USGS [US Geological Survey]), but the 
results after ten years of work have been disappointing. The West 
came in with high hopes. The Soviets found Tengiz onshore in 1979 
with about 6 Gb of very deep, high-sulfur oil in a reef. Chevron took 
over and is now producing it with difficulty. But offshore they found 
a huge prospect called Kashagan in a similar geological setting to 
Tengiz. If it had been full, it could have contained 200 Gb, but they 
have now drilled three deep wells at huge cost, finding that instead of 
being a single reservoir it, like Tengiz, is made up of reefs. Reserves are 
now quoted at 9-13 Gb. BP - Statoil has pulled out. Caspian produc- 
tion won't make any material difference to world supply. 39 

But to think merely in terms of numbers of barrels is to miss the point. Although, 
this is a virgin region, the oil is not as high quality as that found in other provinces. 
It has extremely high sulfur content. It will be little more than a diversified source 
of energy that gives an edge to whoever controls it. There are also very few ways to 
get that oil into the world's gas tanks without a heavy capital investment into 
pipelines threaded through some of the world's most deadly political geography. 

Deceive the people, blame the people 

The books on world oil reserves are as cooked as the books of Enron. As FTW con- 
tinued to publish a series of articles throughout 2002 on the coming crisis, I was 
contacted by many people who insisted that the reserve projections were showing 
that more oil was somehow replacing that which had been pumped. They also said 



34 



CROSSING THE RUBICON 



that government figures from the US Geological Survey showed that there was 
much more oil than we said there was. 

First, it is critical to understand that if an oil company reports accurate reserves 
in a field promptly upon discovery of that field, they have to pay taxes on all of it 
at once. So they spread the tax burden out over several years — by reporting new 
finds in old fields. This practice maintains stock prices and investments for oil com- 
panies that haven't made any new finds. Oil in the ground is booked as a corporate 
asset on the balance sheet. Backdating oil discoveries to the date a field was opened 
is essential to understanding how quickly new discovery is really diminishing. 

Patiently, Dale Pfeiffer responded to other misconceptions with hard science. 
What was being reported as new oil in old wells was sometimes the result of the 
seepage into spaces left by drilling from tiny deposits of oil that then filled the 
void. It was not much, and it would not make a difference. 40 

To the people who insisted that oil reserve figures for the Middle East showed 
that new oil was materializing, he pointed out that the OPEC nations, responding 
to the recession of the late 1980s, were faced with a problem. There had to be 
enough cheap oil to stimulate a recovery that would ensure the demand for oil. 
OPEC's control over that process was enhanced by a successful economic attack 
on the Soviet petroleum industry. By overproducing and price-cutting, OPEC ren- 
dered Soviet oil uncompetitive as its higher production costs began to approach its 

net revenues. Cutting Soviet oil rev- 
enue was a great way to bankrupt 
the Soviet Union. It worked. 

All OPEC nations have produc- 
tion quotas to manage prices that 
are based upon stated reserves in the 
ground. When OPEC suddenly 
needed to increase production 
beyond their agreed- upon limits, 
they just broke out an eraser and 
changed the quantity of reserves on 
the books. Only one nation, Dubai, 
did not follow suit to match its 
neighbors. To believe that all this 
new oil suddenly appeared, one 
would have to argue that the oil 
somehow appeared under the 
ground in every Middle Eastern 
country except unlucky Dubai. 

The following chart posted at 
<www.hubbertpeak.com> proves 
the point. 



300 



250 



200 



150 



100 



Falsely "never-emptying" reserves, and huge 
jumps in reported reserves during "quota 
wars" when OPEC allowed exports (and 
therefore income) according to a country's 
reported size of reserves. 



Saudi 



A 



— »— Abu 
— ♦— Dubai 

Iran 

— * — Iraq 

Kuwait 

— • — Saudi 
■ Venezuela 




1980 1983 1986 1989 1992 1995 1998 
i i i i i i i 

Data is from Petroconsultants of Geneva, a consul- 
tancy whose database is the most comprehensive 
available for data on oil resources that exist outside 
of continental North America, and is used as a 
'bible' by all international oil companies. 



PETROLEUM MAN 35 

The US government, it turns out, is no less guilty of misrepresentation. Pfeiffer 
took on the magically self-adjusting reserves published by the US Energy 
Information Administration (EIA) and found evidence of cooked books: 

This [book cooking] is one of the major causes of disinformation 
regarding energy issues. The US government relies on the EIA for all 
of its energy information. Yet the EIA, a division of the Department 
of Energy, has admitted that it reverse- engineers its studies. "These 
adjustments to the USGS [US Geological Survey] and MMS 
[Minerals Management Service] estimates are based on non-technical 
[emphasis mine] considerations that support domestic supply growth 
to the levels necessary to meet projected demand levels," stated the 
EIA in a report titled Annual Energy Outlook 1998 with Projections to 
2020. This means that the EIA first looks at projected figures for 
demand, then juggles reserve and production figures to meet that 
demand! 

Likewise, USGS reports can no longer be trusted either since the 
agency's about face in 2000. Prior to 2000, the USGS was talking about 
oil depletion and the crossover event between demand and supply. In 
2000, however, the agency published a rosy report stating there would 
be abundant oil for many decades. Geologists working for the USGS 
have stated off the record that they do not trust USGS oil data. 41 

Further misleading the public are the following official statements. From the 
CFR report: "The reasons for the energy challenge have nothing to do with the 
global hydrocarbon resource base, which is still enormous." 42 The National Energy 
Policy blames everything on infrastructure and technology. In its opening page it 
denies all of the empirical evidence that it subsequently produces to the contrary. 
Referring time and again to the California energy crisis of 2001, it blames the 
problem on a lack of production capability. California was just the beginning of 
what the world can look forward to — and a mild version at that. Although it has 
since been disclosed that Enron and other companies worsened the crisis and took 
criminal advantage of it, they did not create the crisis in the first place. 

While producing page after page of factual data establishing that this crisis is real 
and unavoidable, the NEDPG group also blamed everything on science and money. 
Dick Cheney signed off on a report that said, "we must use technology to reduce 
demand for energy, repair and maintain our energy infrastructure, and increase 
energy supply." 43 By similar logic, if you lock someone in a bank vault and give him 
enough money, technology, and incentive, he can materialize a ham sandwich. 

Further compounding the problem, in late 2003, oil major Royal Dutch Shell 
announced that it had overstated its reserves (in order to maintain share prices) by 
as much as 20 percent. Shell actually cut its reserve estimates not just once, but 
three times. 44 Shell's fraudulent bookkeeping not only resulted in the resignations 



36 



CROSSING THE RUBICON 



of its two co-chairmen; it also triggered a wave of reserve restatements throughout 
the energy industry that has yet to be fully played out. Shortly after Shell's 
announcement, US energy major El Paso announced that it had cut its stated nat- 
ural gas reserves by 41 percent. 45 As a result, the Los Angeles Times reported that 
regulators had begun to examine the reserve statements of all major oil companies 
and that this might produce significant upward pressure on prices as reserves were 
revised downward. The Times reported, "For petroleum firms, reserves amount to 
nothing less than 'the value of the company' says Ronald Harrell, chairman of 
Ryder Scott Co., a Houston petroleum engineering firm." 46 

In other words, the truth about diminishing reserves could destroy share prices, 
which could destroy financial markets and investments, which could lead to a col- 
lapse anyway. Such financial considerations are not irrelevant when one considers 
that, as the Times of London reported in January 2004, "The world's top ten ener- 
gy companies are failing to find enough new crude to replenish their reserves, 
according to Wood Mackenzie, the oil consultancy, which sees exploration in the 
UK North Sea as the industry's biggest waste of money over the past five years." 47 

Alexander Solzhenitsyn said, "Men, in order to do evil, must first believe that what 
they are doing is good." Through all of this I see the same self-justification that has 
enabled all corrupt politicians and government apparatchiks to lie, to steal, to distort, 
to manipulate, to deceive, and to destroy: "I'm just doing what the people want." This 
is the rationale, I suspect, that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney use in their sleep 
and in their waking moments to justify the US aggression that has taken place since 
9/11. George W. Bush did tell us that "the American way of life is not negotiable." 

I found this attitude summed up again in a passage from the CFR report which 
read, "So we come to the report's central dilemma: the American people continue 
to demand plentiful and cheap energy without sacrifice or inconvenience." 48 Most 
of the American people don't have a clue as to what is really driving events. No 
matter what, leaders have an obligation to tell the people the truth. Recall the fol- 
lowing quotation, attributed to Thomas Jefferson: "I believe that the people, when 
properly armed with the facts, will come to the right conclusion." As events have 
unfolded since 9/1 1, we have seen that we are being told anything but the truth. 

Proving the crisis is here 

The earth is attempting to rid itself of an infection by the human parasite. 

— Richard Preston, 1994 

Even the major oil companies understand the future. Both academics and former 
oil company executives have told me that the oil companies know exactly what is 
happening. They even produce figures confirming it. This explains why so many 
major oil companies have merged and are currently downsizing. 49 Even though 
reports from the White House and the CFR decry poor infrastructure as the prob- 
lem, it is not likely that much new infrastructure will be built in the US. There 



PETROLEUM MAN 



37 



won't be enough energy to power the plants and fill new pipelines. The undevel- 
oped regions must be drilled and pipelines must be built to make the oil and gas 
useable. And still the new production from these regions will do little except to 
diversify supplies for a while and ease prices when necessary to avert an economic 
collapse before the inevitable physical one gets here. According to BP-Amoco, 
world oil production per capita peaked in 1979. 50 This figure is acknowledged by 
the International Energy Agency (IEA) and many other scientific journals. It is not 
going to get any better. 

Dr. John Price, an economic analyst, pegged the heart of the problem in a May 
2001 appraisal entitled "Oil and Global Recession." 51 He zeroed in on both the 
secretive Vice President's Energy Task Force (NEPDG) and the CFR report published 
only a month earlier. (Note the proximity of these reports to the attacks of 9/1 1). 
He used a quotation from CFR member Matthew Simmons, who had participat- 
ed in both projects, to make his point: 

[Simmons] exhorted delegates to the recent Offshore Technology 
Conference to prepare for a 'World War IF scale operation to meet 
forecast energy demand. Only an operation of this scale could solve 
the 'energy crisis' - 'crisis' being defined as 'when a problem or series 
of problems turn from being troublesome to extremely severe' (or as 
some would say, when a problem suddenly becomes terminal). 52 

Price quoted Simmons as saying that the costs of the operation would be around 
$5 trillion dollars, not counting costs of infrastructure expansion. Then he observed, 



12. 
11. 



00 
15 



O 
-Q 



6.00 



3.32 



0.00 



History 



Energy Production 
Per capita (e) 



WW II 



Peak 1979 ' 1999 Note (3) 

Note (2) / % Pe f 



2000 
Note 



2006 
Note ( 



Great 
Depression I 



1930 
Note (1 ) 



Industrial Civilization < 100 Years 




Note i 



1920 



1955 



1990 
Years 



2025 



From Richard Duncan, The Oil Crash and You, August 2001 . 



2060 



38 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

"The CFR solution [political, manufacturing and economic restructuring] won't 
work. It's too big; it's too expensive; lead times are too long; and the return on 
investment is uncertain." 

Returns on investment can only be uncertain if there is doubt about the avail- 
ability of product. Demand (need plus purchasing power) is a given. Price then 
confirmed exactly what I have learned through many thousands of hours of research 
and interviews. This is exactly what Dale Allen Pfeiffer had told me when we first 
started talking, right after the World Trade Center attacks: "by way of confirma- 
tion, people in and close to the oil industry are reporting that increased drilling is 
not resulting as yet in significantly increased supply." 

No doubt Price felt that Simmons was referring to a massive operation like the 
Manhattan Project that produced the first atomic bomb. However, I take the World 
War II operation suggestion a little more literally. So, it appears, did Richard Cheney 
and George W. Bush. 

Where would the money in excess of $5 trillion come from? Well, our leaders 
have a habit of not telling people the truth. It's bad politics. They also have obli- 
gations to the people who put them in office (I did not use the word "elected"). 
But there is $600 billion a year in liquid cash from the drug trade. If invested well 
it could add several trillion to the pot while killing off "inferior" drug addicts (I 
have heard this attitude expressed by both intelligence operatives and political fig- 
ures) . What the heck — there are too many people anyway. 

In this way, power and control could be maintained. Handsome profits could 
be passed out among those in the know. And why not? It's a zero-sum game. 
Individuals in power would be better prepared to deal with what follows when the 
peoples of the world begin to realize that the population is going to be reduced — 
one way or the other: relatively benign or absolutely horrific. The ultimate ethical 
question that is not being addressed openly is, which? 

As Price wrote just 111 days before the World Trade Center ceased to exist, 
"The challenge of recession is immediate; the energy crisis is immediate. The 
immediate refuses to be ignored." 

Sir Charles Galton Darwin wrote in 1952: 

The fifth revolution will come when we have spent the stores of coal 
and oil that have been accumulating in the earth during hundreds of 
millions of years .... It is to be hoped that before then other sources of 

energy will have been developed but without considering the detail 

[here], it is obvious that there will be a very great difference in ways of 
life .... Whether a convenient substitute for the present fuels is found 
or not, there can be no doubt that there will have to be a great change 
in ways of life. This change may justly be called a revolution, but it dif- 
fers from all the preceding ones in that there is no likelihood of its 
leading to increases of population, but even perhaps to the reverse. 53 



PETROLEUM MAN 39 



Darwin's observations were reinforced by geologist Walter Youngquist in 1999. 
He wrote: 

World population will have to adjust to lesser food supplies by a 
reduction in population. Pimentel and Pimentel (1996) stated: "the 
nations of the world must develop a plan to reduce the global population 
from near 6 billion to about 2 billion. If humans do not control their 
numbers, nature will." Because stopping and then turning around the 
freight train of population growth can only be done gradually, this is 
a project that should be started now (Cohen, 1995). 54 If it is not done 
famine is likely to ensue. 55 

Geologist Jay Hanson, among the first to raise the issue of a global oil crisis 
resulting in population overshoot and collapse, came to the same conclusion in 
"The 'Longage of Critters' Problem": 

But when the above scenario seems inevitable, the elites will simply 
depopulate most of the planet with bioweapons. When the time 
comes, it will be the only logical solution to their problem. It's a first- 
strike tactic that leaves built-in infrastructure and other species in 
place and allows the elites to perpetuate their own genes into the fore- 
seeable future. 56 

There is another highly significant test of whether or not what I have present- 
ed here is true. Think back to the statement about the results of the war on drugs 
after 30 years. Does my narrative scenario accord with the events since 9/11: the 
anthrax attacks (using spores developed by the CIA); 57 the new vaccination laws 
and programs; the erosion of civil liberties; all the inconsistencies in the govern- 
ment's statements about what happened on 9/11 and the bogus link between the 
attacks and Iraq; the sudden and nearly obsessive preoccupation with biological 
warfare; the invasion of Iraq itself; the creation of a Department of Homeland 
Security; and the deployment of US military personnel only in regions of the 
world connected to oil and gas production or transshipment. 

As Colin Campbell, founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil 
(<www.peakoil.net>) has said, "The species Homo sapiens is not going to become 
extinct. But the subspecies 'Petroleum Man,' most certainly is." 58 Before that hap- 
pens, there will, as we will demonstrate to you, the jury, inevitably be armed 
conflict to seize diminishing energy resources. It doesn't have to be this way. It 
shouldn't be this way. But the one thing that makes it inevitable is the operation 
of the world's economic system, a psychological and ultimately moral limitation 
that no political leaders and few human beings can see beyond. 

I heard this reality confirmed by a major Dutch economist speaking at a Peak 
Oil conference in May of 2003 who said, "It may not be profitable to slow 
decline." 59 War is the most profitable business of all. 



40 



CROSSING THE RUBICON 



In this context five specific quotations from Zbigniew Brzezinski's 1997 book 
The Grand Chessboard: America's Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives provide 
key landmarks in our investigation of 9/1 1: 

• The attitude of the American public toward the external projection 
of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public 
supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of 
the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, (pp. 24-25) 

• But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular pas- 
sion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the 
public's sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial 
(that is, defense spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties, even 
among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial 
to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobi- 
lization, (p. 35) 

• To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age 
of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrat- 
egy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence 
among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to 
keep the barbarians from coming together, (p. 40) 

• That puts a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to 
prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually 
seek to challenge America's primacy, (p. 198) 

• Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multicultural socie- 
ty, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign 
policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and 
widely perceived direct external threat, (p. 211) 



H A P T 



E R 



Cheney Knew 

The Cheney report is very guarded about the amount of foreign oil that 
will be required. The only clue provided by the [public] report is a chart 
of net US oil consumption and production over time. According to this 
illustration, domestic oil field production will decline fom about 8. 5 mil- 
lion barrels per day (mbld) in 2002 to 7.0 mbld in 2020, while 
consumption will jump fom 19.5 mbld to 25.5 mbld. That suggests 
imports or other sources of petroleum . . . will have to rise fom 11 mbld 
to 18.5 mbld. Most of the recommendations of the NEP [National Energy 
Policy, May 2001] are aimed at procuring this 7.5 mbld increment, 
equivalent to the total oil consumed by China and India. 

— Professor Michael Klare, "Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring 
the Rest of the World's Oil," Foreign Policy in Focus, January 2004 

The White House Stonewall goes on, as the Bush administration contin- 
ues to deny the non-partisan General Accounting Office's request for 
information on who the White House Energy Task Force met with while 
formulating national energy policy. For the first time in history, the GAO 
has sued the executive branch for access to the records. It has been 42 days 
since the GAO filed their suit against the Bush administration and 333 
days since the White House first received the GAO request. Why is the 
White House going to such lengths? What are they trying to hide? 

— Truthout, <www.truthout.org>, "White House Stonewall," 

April 5, 2002 

The Supreme Court said Monday it will settle a fight over whether Vice 
President Dick Cheney must disclose details about secret contacts with ener- 
gy industry officials as the Bush administration drafied its energy policy 

The Supreme Court will hear the case sometime in the spring, with a 
ruling expected by July. 

— Associated Press, December 15, 2003 



4 1 



42 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Bush and Blair have been making plans for the day when oil production 
peaks, by seeking to secure the reserves of other nations. 

— George Monbiot, "Bottom of the Barrel," The Guardian, 

December 2, 2003 

China and India are building superhighways and automobile factories. 
Energy demand is expected to rise by about 50 percent over the next 20 
years, with about 40 percent of that demand to be supplied by petroleum . . . 

"Oil supplies are finite and will soon be controlled by a handful of 
nations; the invasion of Iraq and control of its supplies will do little to 
change that. One can only hope that an informed electorate and its prin- 
cipled representatives will realize that the facts do matter, and that nature 
— not military might — will soon dictate the ultimate availability of 
petroleum. 

— Alfred Cavallo, "Oil: The Illusion Of Plenty," Bulletin of the 

Atomic Scientists, Jan-Feb 2004 

The 9/11 attacks gave the US an ideal pretext to use force to secure its 
global domination .... 

The plan ["Rebuilding America's Defenses", Project for a New 
American Century - 2000] shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military 
control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power 

The overriding motivation for this political smokescreen is that the US 
and the UK are beginning to run out of secure hydrocarbon energy sup- 
plies As demand is increasing, so supply is decreasing, continually since 

the 1960s. 

— Michael Meacher MP, UK Environment Minister 1997-2003, 
"The War on Terrorism is Bogus," The Guardian, September 6, 2003 

How could the US government facilitate such attacks and launch aggression 
throughout the world? What would make America do such a thing? 

I have said for two years that the deepest, darkest secrets of September 1 1 th lie 
buried in the records of the US National Energy Policy Development Group 
(NEPDG) which began its work almost the same day the Bush administration 
took office and produced its final report in May of 2001, just four short months 
before the World Trade Center ceased to exist. 

Part of the proof of this lies in the blatantly illegal and vehement manner in 
which the task force, headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, has failed to release 
its records for public scrutiny, in a clear and blatant violation of US constitution- 
al law. This indicates that there is something to conceal. 

When, in May 2001, the American conservative legal "watchdog" group 
Judicial Watch filed suit to see the NEPDG records, it was the first to protest the 
unheard of secrecy that had surrounded the task force's deliberations. As the White 



Cheney Knew 43 



House stonewalled, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) — the official 
investigative arm of the Congress — filed suit the following February. Congress 
had, after all, funded the project. Non-governmental officials had played major 
roles in its deliberations and under the Constitution, the GAO had an obligation 
to see how the money was spent and what was produced. White House refusals 
prompted media speculation about deals with Enron and big oil companies: a 
divvying of spoils, a rape of the environment. Judicial Watch was later joined in 
its suit by the progressive Sierra Club from the left. A scandal for everyone! 

It's a sure bet that of all the plaintiffs from Congressman Henry Waxman (D 
— CA) and Comptroller General David Walker who fought for the GAO, to 
Judicial Watch's Larry Klayman, who had previously fought Bill Clinton, to the 
environmentalists, none had a clue as to what they were really asking for or why 
Dick Cheney fought them so ruthlessly and still does as of this writing. 

The fight was, in fact, just beginning. 

As reported in the congressional newspaper The Hill on February 19, 2003, the 
GAO dropped its suit after the administration made threats of heavy cuts to its 
budget. The offer GAO couldn't refuse was delivered by Republican Senator Ted 
Stevens of Alaska, where a lot of new drilling was expected to take place. Judicial 
Watch and the Sierra Club stood firm. Both had the money to see their suits through. 
The controversy boiled throughout 2001-2002. Were it not for the "war on ter- 
ror," this might have been one of the biggest US constitutional crises of all time. 

The Enron scandal seems like a pleasant diversion in retrospect. All these bat- 
tles started before the first plane hit the Twin Towers. That's one reason why 
everyone was shocked at the blatantly illegal secrecy and the manner in which the 
administration fought. This was long before the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, 
Patriot Act II, and all the major lies of the Bush administration that have since 
been revealed. One of the administration's bets was that, in the wake of 9/ 1 1 , the 
NEPDG records would be forgotten. 

They lost that one. 

Hints as to what was discussed in the secret task force are now on the table. 
They strongly suggest that inside the NEPDG records lay the deepest, darkest 
secrets of 9/ 1 1 . The motive; the apocalyptic truth that would compel such carnage 
and a wrenching hairpin turn in the course of human history; the thing that no 
one ever wanted to know; the thing that makes it utterly believable that the US 
government could have deliberately facilitated the attacks of September 11 th , 
stands on the brink of full disclosure — maybe. 

Shortly after it was announced that the US Supreme Court would render a 
decision in the suits in July of 2004, 1 Dick Cheney found it convenient to go 
duck hunting with Justice Antonin Scalia who would hear arguments in the case 
in March and April. The vice president paid all expenses for the trip and even 
provided Justice Scalia with Secret Service protection and transportation. 2 In spite 
of widespread complaints and arguments that this posed a conflict of interest in 



44 



CROSSING THE RUBICON 



the case, Scalia has refused to recuse himself and will cast what may be the decid- 
ing vote to keep the secrets of 9/1 1 from public view. 3 

A seven-page glimpse under the door 

Last July, after appealing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for NEPDG 
documents, Judicial Watch won a small victory with the release of seven pages. 
They included: 

• A detailed map of all Iraqi oil fields (1 1 percent of world supply); 

• A two-page specific list of all nations with development contracts for 
Iraqi oil and gas projects and the companies involved; 

• A detailed map of all Saudi Arabian oil fields (25 percent of world 
supply); 

• A list of all major oil and gas development projects in Saudi Arabia; 

• A detailed map of all the oil fields in the United Arab Emirates (8 
percent of world supply); 

• A list of all oil and gas development projects in the UAE. 

The documents may be viewed online at: 
<www.judicialwatch.org/07 1 703.c_.shtml> . 

In their austerity, the documents scream of what NEPDG was debating. If 7.5 
mb/d of new oil production was to be secured, there was only one place to get it: 
the Persian Gulf. All told, including Qatar (firmly under US control and the home 
of headquarters for US Central Command) and Iran, the Gulf is home to 60 per- 
cent of all the recoverable oil on the planet. Not only would these oil fields have 
to be controlled, billions of dollars in new investment would be required to boost 
production to meet US needs, simultaneously denying that same production to 
the rest of the world where demand is also soaring. 

Klare wrote: 

According to the Department of Energy, Saudi Arabia's net petroleum 
output must grow by 133 percent over the next 25 years, from 10.2 
mb/d in 2001 to 23.8 mb/d in 2025, in order to meet anticipated 
world requirements at the end of that period. Expanding Saudi capac- 
ity by 13.6 mb/d, which is the equivalent of total current production 
by the United States and Mexico, will cost hundreds of billions of dol- 
lars The Cheney report calls for exactly that. However, any effort 

by Washington to apply pressure on Riyadh is likely to meet signifi- 
cant resistance from the royal family. 

Not to mention from Muslim fundamentalists and ordinary Saudi citizens who 
oppose the corrupt and teetering regime. 

Sixty per cent of all the recoverable oil on the planet is in an area no larger than 
the state of Kansas. 



Cheney Knew 45 



Herein lies the motive behind America's eagerness to quietly and wrongly 
implicate the Saudi government in 9/11. A closer look at the maps obtained by 
Judicial Watch explains why. When placed side by side the maps reveal that rough- 
ly 60 percent of the world's recoverable oil is in a "golden" triangle running from 
Mosul in northern Iraq, to the Straits of Hormuz, to an oil field in Saudi Arabia 
75 miles in from the coast, just west of Qatar, then back up to Mosul. Almost all 
of Iran's oil lies near its 
western shoreline on the 
Gulf. This whole area 
would fit easily inside the 
northern portion of Texas, 
America's premier oil state. 
When the maps from 
Cheney's Energy Task Force 
are superimposed on a map 
of that state, the contrast in 
size is striking 




Jit. 



Maps obtained from the NEPDG showing the world's major oil fields and other doc- 
uments show clearly what was of major concern in the secret proceedings. This map, 
prepared by the author, is a compilation of maps released in a bitter US lawsuit to 
release all of the Energy Task Force's records. 

The US military already occupies part of this area and surrounds the remain- 
der. So it's quite consistent with our stated motive to ask how easy it would be for 
American forces to occupy the entire oil-bearing region in the event that the Saudi 
monarchy should become unstable, as it surely will someday soon. I have been 
predicting such a US occupation for some time, and it's likely that the US gov- 
ernment will begin the project with covert destabilization efforts. I will discuss the 
destabilization of Saudi Arabia later in the book. 

The list of countries and companies already invested in new development proj- 
ects in the region reads like the perfect answer to the question: "OK, whom do we 



46 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



have to deal with to get this done? Who will come with us if we offer them a piece, 
and who will refuse, no matter what, because they can't afford to have their share 
reduced?" Look at the documents and answer that question, and you have per- 
fectly separated the investor nations into two camps: those nations who supported 
the Iraqi invasion and those who opposed it. 4 

As Michael Klare points out in this chapter's epigraph, the simple fact is, given 
that oil is peaking, to secure imports equivalent to the amounts consumed by China 
and India is to take that same oil away from China and India, or from some other 
mix of countries. The question is, from whom? 

Other global battles for the oil that remains have already begun, albeit quietly 
for the time being. China has passed Japan as the world's second largest oil 
importer. A January 3, 2004, article by James Brooke in the New York Times, 
"Japan and China Battle for Russia's Oil and Gas," described the fierce high-stakes 
contest underway. Russia is going to build only one pipeline east from its Siberian 
fields. It is either going to terminate in the middle of China, or on Russia's Pacific 
coast where it can supply Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. Brooke wrote, "With 
the choice Russia faces, the political and economic dynamics of northeast Asia 
stand to be profoundly shaped for years to come." 5 

Russia has 60 billion barrels (Gb) of proven reserves, a 690-day supply for plan- 
et Earth, and there is no great likelihood that more significant quantities of oil will be 
discovered anywhere inside or outside of Russia. 

West Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia 

The public NEPDG report also addresses (in oblique fashion) areas of the world 
that have increasingly become inflamed since 9/11: west Africa, South America, 
and Southeast Asia. For more than two years, FTW has paid close attention to a 
shift in US and NATO military presence in west Africa, Venezuela, Colombia, the 
Philippines, and Indonesia. 6 

Of particular interest here are the facts that on May 1, 2003, through the CIA's 
Voice of America, NATO commander James Jones announced that NATO was 
shifting its focus to west Africa; new US naval bases are being negotiated in the 
tiny west African island nations of Sao Tome and Principe (Klare); and the US gave 
six naval warships to Nigeria last summer (Reuters, CNN). Isn't it convenient that 
a US-friendly coup toppled the Sao Tome government last July? 7 

As detailed by Klare, the importance of these regions is that, while they con- 
tain far smaller reserves than the Gulf, they can be brought online (and drained) 
quickly to meet current demand without destabilizing the economies of the 
world in general and the US in particular. The tens and perhaps hundreds of bil- 
lions of dollars needed to invest in infrastructure to increase production in the 
Gulf will come only when oil prices have soared enough to provide that capital. 
Don't expect Wall Street to drain their reserves. They aren't going to pay for it. 
You are. 



Cheney Knew 47 



Make no mistake, the oil companies and Wall Street are banking on severe oil 
price spikes to fund this short-lived development and, almost as importantly, to 
reduce consumption on an ad hoc basis as people in the US find they can't afford 
five- or six-dollar gasoline and businesses shut down. There are, at best, between 
500 and 600 billion barrels in the Gulf, which can only be pumped at needed rates 
if the investment is begun immediately and sustained over the next ten years. 

Do the math, and it's clear: when will the price spikes come? Within six months 
to a year after the 2004 election. Not before then, if the Bush group can prevent it. 

I am not optimistic about the outcome. Nor am I optimistic about what will 
happen when the reality of Peak Oil sets in. Noted economist James Kenneth 
Galbraith has well described how current market forces really prevent any realistic 
addressing of the problem and only tend to exacerbate it by continuing to urge 
increased consumption. 8 Oil companies lie about reserves to protect share value 
and defray tax burdens. Financial markets deny there is a problem to avoid investor 
panic. Yet the first months of 2004 have seen an avalanche of stories in the major 
press organs of the world finally acknowledging, at least in some measure, the real- 
ity of Peak Oil. More such stories are appearing every day as this book goes to press. 
Shock waves rippled through the markets in 2004 as it was announced that Saudi 
Arabia, with 25 percent of the world's recoverable reserves may have passed its peak 
of production and could therefore never accommodate the production increases 
described by Michael Klare and mandated by NEPDG requirements. 9 

The United States has chosen to address the problem of Peak Oil in the most 
brutal, venal, and shortsighted way available: by using military force to comman- 
deer what remains of the world's rapidly vanishing fossil fuels. The true attitude of 
American political leaders is that "the American way of life is not negotiable," 
especially if such negotiations would reduce their power or influence. 

Cheney knew in 1999 

In November 1999, then Halliburton Chairman Dick Cheney gave a speech to 
the London Institute of Petroleum. What he said in that speech was not widely 
known to researchers until a discussion of it appeared in the April 2004 issue of 
Middle East magazine. Professor Kjell Aleklett of the University of Uppsala in 
Sweden, who is also the 2004 president of the Association for the Study of Peak 
Oil and Gas, caught some key quotes and saw that it was apparent that Dick 
Cheney was aware of Peak Oil issues at the time. Aleklett reported that transcript 
of the remarks, previously available on the institute's website had been removed. 10 
A few days later Aleklett, having successfully located a transcript, forwarded it 
to me. Cheney's remarks speak for themselves: 

We as an industry have had to deal with the pesky problem that once 
you find oil and pump it out of the ground you've got to turn around 
and find more or go out of business .... 



48 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Every year you've got to find and develop reserves equal to your 
output just to stand still, just to stay even. This is true for companies 
as well in the broader economic sense as it is for the world. A new 
merged company like Exxon-Mobil will have to secure over a billion 
and a half barrels of new oil equivalent reserves every year just to 
replace existing production 

. . .For the world as a whole, oil companies are expected to keep find- 
ing and developing enough oil to offset our 71 million-plus barrel a day 
of oil depletion, but also to meet new demand. By some estimates there 
will be an average of two percent annual growth in global oil demand 
over the years ahead along with conservatively a three percent natural 
decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 20 1 we will 
need on the order of an additional 50 million barrels a day. . . 

So where is the oil going to come from? .... 

Looking back to the early 1990s, expectations were that significant 
amounts of the world's new resources would come from such areas as 
the former Soviet Union and from China .... 

For most companies the majority of their profits come from core 
areas, that is areas where they have significant investments, economies 
of scale and large license areas locked up, but many of these core areas 
are now mature, and it can be difficult to replace the earnings from 
the high margin barrels there. Some of the oil being developed in new 
areas is obviously very high cost and low margin .... 

Clearly the main driver behind the biggest mergers are the cost 
savings that are anticipated as a result of economies of scale .... There 
are also cases where difficulty in sustaining and growing the compa- 
nies has led management to offer the firm to a bigger player. In the 
worldwide competition for capital, there are imperatives for size and 
scale. Larger companies tend to have the highest credit ratings and 
therefore the lowest borrowing costs, but they also tend to have high- 
er multiples in the stock market. The share price premium becomes a 
valuable currency for takeovers .... 

Oil is unique in that it is so strategic in nature. We are not talking 
about soapflakes or leisurewear here. Energy is truly fundamental to 
the world's economy. The Gulf War was a reflection of that reality .... 
It is the basic, fundamental building block of the world's economy .... 
Our constituency is not only oilmen from Louisiana and Texas, but 
software writers in Massachusetts and especially steel producers in 
Pennsylvania .... 

Well, the end of the oil era is not here yet, but changes are afoot, 
and the industry must be ready to adapt to the new century and to the 
transformations that lie ahead .... 1 1 



Cheney Knew 49 



Three Days of the Condor 

There is a deeper part of human nature that covers the planet in a sickly, light- 
sweet-crude blanket of denial. It is perfectly epitomized by the closing lines of 
Sidney Pollack's extraordinary 1975 film, Three Days of the Condor. As FTWhas 
shown in recent stories — using declassified CIA documents — the Agency was 
already well aware of Peak Oil in the mid 1970s. 12 Three Days of the Condor took 
that awful truth and said then, what few in the post-9/11 world have had the 
courage to say now. I can guarantee you that it is the overriding rationale in Dick 
Cheney's mind, in the mind of every senior member of the Bush administration, 
and in the mind of whomever it is that will be the next US president. Getting rid 
of George W. Bush will not address the underlying causative factors of energy and 
money, and any solution that does not address those issues will prove futile. 

Turner (Robert Redford): Do we have plans to invade the Middle East? 

Higgins (Cliff Robertson): Are you crazy? 

Turner: Am I? 

Higgins: Look, Turner. . . 

Turner: Do we have plans? 

Higgins: No. Absolutely not. We have games. That's all. We play 
games. What if? How many men? What would it take? Is there a 
cheaper way to destabilize a regime? That's what we're paid to do. 
Turner: Go on. So Atwood just took the game too seriously. He was 
really going to do it, wasn't he? 

Higgins: It was a renegade operation. Atwood knew 54-12 would never 
authorize it. There was no way, not with the heat on the Company. 
Turner: What if there hadn't been any heat? Supposing I hadn't stum- 
bled on a plan? Say nobody had? 

Higgins: Different ball game. The fact is there was nothing wrong with 
the plan. Oh, the plan was all right. The plan would have worked. 
Turner: Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught 
in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth? 

Higgins: No. It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In 10 or 15 
years — food, plutonium. And maybe even sooner. Now what do you 
think the people are gonna want us to do then? 
Turner: Ask them. 

Higgins: Not now — then. Ask them when they're running out. Ask 
them when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask them 
when their engines stop. Ask them when people who've never known 
hunger start going hungry. Do you want to know something? They 
won't want us to ask them. They'll just want us to get it for them. 



CHAPTER 



The CIA is Wall Street, 
and Drug Money is King 

How is it that the economy could prevent finding solutions to Peak Oil? 
Answering that question not only corroborates motive and intent, it also 
allows us to examine the mindset of the suspects. It is a critical part of the foun- 
dation that must be laid in presenting my case for what happened on September 
11, 2001. One of the biggest secrets of 9/11 is the connection between drug 
money and Wall Street. 

Oil companies, banks, auto manufacturers, and computer companies all trade 
their stocks on Wall Street, whether on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), on 
the NASDAQ, or on the American Stock Exchange. They also trade bonds there. 
Shares of stock are fractions of ownership in companies, and they represent equi- 
ty. Bonds are loans made to companies, and they represent debt. Companies raise 
capital to do such things as build refineries or drill for oil, either from their own 
profits or by selling shares of stock or issuing bonds. As we shall see, there are other 
ways that companies generate capital that aren't talked about in public. 

The higher a company's stock price, the more capital it has available to buy raw 
materials, to build factories or refineries, to give to its investors in the form of div- 
idends, or to split among the top executives and, in some cases, even the employees. 

Another key component of trading in financial markets is the Chicago Board 
Options Exchange (CBOE). That's where futures derivatives like "put" and "call" 
options are traded. Derivatives are financial instruments that have no direct value 
in and of themselves but derive their value from other things that do. Puts and calls 
are basically bets that a stock price will either fall or rise at some future date. 
Members of the NYSE and the CBOE are in regular contact and watch each 
other's trading closely. The same applies for the American Stock Exchange and the 
relative newcomer, the NASDAQ, which is a privately owned trading exchange. 

In a rapidly globalizing world economy, competitive edge is everything. In 
business, edge comes in several forms. First, there is intelligence. What does the 
market want? What is the competition doing? Can someone outbid us in our 
attempt to buy out XYZ Company? Is someone trying to make a run at our stock 

50 



The CIA is Wall Street, and Drug Money is King 51 

price? Does someone have a better or more efficient product or process? How close 
is the competition to getting its product to market? Can we invest $250 million 
in a refinery if Lukoil or Sibneft is going to get the rights to the oil field we're look- 
ing at? Who is going to build the pipeline to the refinery? How much will they 
have to charge to make it profitable? Does the competition have any weaknesses 
that we can exploit to give us an edge? 

Then there is money itself. Catherine Austin Fitts knows money. She is a for- 
mer managing director of the Wall Street investment bank Dillon Read, holds an 
MBA from the Wharton School of Business, and is a former Assistant Secretary of 
Housing. 

Fitts expresses a key principle of competitive advantage thus: "Those who have 
the lowest cost of capital win." If you have financed a car or a home, you have 
probably had your credit checked. It is your credit rating and the down payment 
that determine what your monthly payments are. It is no different if, for example, 
ExxonMobil wants to finance a new refinery or if AOL wants to buy Time Warner 
and has to borrow money to do it. They call that a leveraged buyout or LBO. 

If you finance a $24,000 car and make a $4,000 down payment then, assum- 
ing your credit is good, the dealership or your bank might finance your $20,000 
loan at 5 percent interest over four years. In that case your payments would be 
$460.60 a month. If, however, your credit is not so good, then you might pay 10 
percent, in which case your monthly payments would be $514.49. 

Following this same premise let's say, for example, that you are ChevronTexaco 
(where National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice used to sit on the board), and 
you want to finance a pipeline so that you can get your oil into people's cars, com- 
puters, and food. The cost of the pipeline is estimated at US$2 billion. You decide 
to put $300 million of Chevron's money into the deal. You form a consortium with 
other oil companies to share the costs. But none of you has all that money up front. 
That's not good business. The oil business is sometimes risky, and oil companies 
frequently keep large financial cushions to protect them in case there are interna- 
tional crises, oil prices drop, or a particular field they want to invest in is a dud. 

An anecdote illustrates the point. The first well in Kazakhstan's Kashagan field, 
owned by a consortium involving Agip (Italy), British Gas, ExxonMobil, Shell, 
Total, BP, Phillips, and others, had cost $300 million by the time it was finished. 
What if that well and your next three proved to be dry holes? That would mean 
no income with continuing heavy capital expense. 1 Oil companies plan for these 
contingencies well in advance. They've been in the business for a hundred years 
now, and have had plenty of time to do accounting studies. 

So, after doing all the analysis, you and your consortium find that you need to 
borrow $1 billion to finance and build your pipeline. You decide to amortize the 
payments over 20 years (the expected life of the field). 2 Now you have to go out 
and borrow the money. Let's see what various interest rates would do to the com- 
pany's monthly payments. A major bank such as HSBC, Deutsche Bank, or 



52 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

JPMorgan Chase might offer you an interest rate of, say, 9 percent. To pay back a 
billion dollars over 20 years at 9 percent interest, your monthly payments would 
be $917,000. But an interest rate of 6 percent would mean payments of $716,440 
a month. 

In other words, your company would have $200,560 extra profit each month 
merely by shaving 3 percent from the interest rate. This has a direct impact on net 
profits, which are defined as gross revenues minus the cost of doing business. And 
this is where what the cost of capital can do gets really interesting. 

The pop 

A price-to-earnings ratio (P/E or "the pop") for any given stock is calculated with 
two basic facts: the market capitalization of a company, and its net profits. Market 
capitalization is simply the total number of shares in circulation multiplied by the 
stock price at any given time. If someone has a company with 1,000 shares of 
stock, each selling at $100, then her market capitalization is $100,000. 

Net profits are simply the gross revenues minus the cost of doing business. So 
if you have a company that brings in $100,000, and all of your costs to produce, 
advertise, sell, and pay your bills are $80,000, your net profits are $20,000. The 
important thing to note is that market capitalization cannot be lied about. It's 
there for everyone to see. Net profits, on the other hand, are something complete- 
ly different. Enron, WorldCom, and a few other giant companies taught us that. 

Now, if you had a company with a market capitalization of $300,000,000 and 
net profits of $10,000,000, your price to earnings ratio would be 30/1. Most sober 
financial analysts have long held that a healthy (i.e., rational from an investor's 
standpoint) P/E is about 15/1. That's why they shake their heads in disbelief when 
they look at companies like Enron, which had a P/E of 60 before it collapsed, or 
like Cisco Systems, which recently had a P/E of 90. That's also why many sober 
analysts believe that the Dow Jones average should properly be at around 5,000. 

If the relationship were strictly mathematical then adding just one dollar to the 
"bottom line" would create 30 dollars in stock value. 

30 = 60 
1 2 

It doesn't work that way in real life. What happens is that a market analyst will 
keep looking at the earnings reports of companies that he or she evaluates. When 
an analyst sees that a given company's earnings are rising quickly, the analyst will 
put out a "buy" or a "strong buy" recommendation. As people buy the stock, the 
share price will rise roughly to the point of the established P/E for that company. 

Decreasing or increasing net profits thus has a multiplying impact on your 
stock value. So in our loan scenario evaluating different interest rates, a difference 
of $200,560 per month in profits means that with a P/E ratio of 60, over the 
course of a year the decrease in total stock value ($200,560 x 12 x 60) would 
be $144,403,200. With a P/E of 30 it would be $72,201,600. This is the main 



The CIA is Wall Street, and Drug Money is King 53 

reason why Wall Street so closely watches what the Federal Reserve chairman does 
with interest rates. 

A major tool for maintaining stock profits is to find the cheapest capital possi- 
ble. This is especially true in a competitive bidding process where companies 
determine their bids based upon how much they can afford to pay back (in much 
the same way that most people buy cars). Thus, those who have the lowest cost of 
capital win. In the best-case scenario this would be capital on which you didn't 
have to pay any interest at all, or even raised — somehow — for free. Finding the 
cheap capital (just like the cheap oil) is the trick: knowing where the money is and 
how it works. But big money doesn't always broadcast its location. 

The CIA is Wall Street 

The CIA is Wall Street. Wall Street is the CIA. This is perhaps one of the easiest 
landmarks to establish on our map. We do it by looking at key players in the CIA's 
history and their relationships to America's financial engine. 

Clark Clifford: The National Security Act of 1947 was written by Clark 
Clifford, a Democratic Party powerhouse, former secretary of defense, and one- 
time advisor to President Harry Truman. In the 1980s, as chairman of First 
American Bancshares, Clifford was instrumental in getting the corrupt CIA drug 
bank BCCI (founded by a Pakistani national) a license to operate on American 
shores. His profession: Wall Street lawyer and banker. BCCI and its particular web 
of characters have been a virtual cut-and-paste overlay linking up Osama bin 
Laden, al Qaeda, and terrorist financing. 3 It was Clark Clifford who was retained 
by former CIA Director Richard Helms when the latter was indicted and prose- 
cuted for lying to Congress in 1976. 4 

Clifford and his banking partner Robert Altman were eventually indicted on 
criminal charges for their role in illegally helping BCCI purchase an American 
bank, First American Bancshares. At the time BCCI had been connected to both 
drug money laundering and financial support for Afghan rebels supported by the 
CIA through its director Bill Casey. 5 

John Foster and Allen Dulles: These two brothers "designed" the CIA for 
Clifford. Both were active in intelligence operations during World War II. Allen 
Dulles had been America's top Office of Strategic Services (OSS) spy in 
Switzerland, where he met frequently with Nazi leaders and looked after US 
investments in Germany. He also held an executive position with Standard Oil. 
John Foster went on to become secretary of state under Dwight Eisenhower, and 
Allen served as CIA director under Ike, only to be fired by JFK after the abortive 
1961 US-led covert invasion of Cuba known as the Bay of Pigs. Their professions: 
partners in the most powerful — to this day — Wall Street law firm of Sullivan 
and Cromwell. 

Enron is only one of Sullivan and Cromwell's current clients, and it employed 
a dozen "former" CIA officers before its fall from grace. 6 Other prominent Sullivan 



54 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

and Cromwell clients are AIG, Global Crossing, ImClone, Martha Stewart, and 
the Harvard Endowment. 

After the assassination of JFK in 1963, Allen Dulles became the staff director 
and lead investigator of the Warren Commission, which asserted that Lee Harvey 
Oswald was a lone assassin who had fired a bullet that had caused JFK's throat 
wound, hung suspended in mid-air for several seconds, changed directions twice, 
then wounded Texas Governor John Connally in the chest, wrist, and thigh only 
to fall out of his body in nearly pristine condition on a stretcher at Parkland 
Hospital in Dallas about 30 minutes later. When asked about how he could have 
offered the Warren Report, full of inconsistencies, to the American people with 
a straight face, Dulles is reported to have said, "The American people don't 
read." 

Bill Casey: Reagan's CIA director and the OSS veteran who served as chief 
covert wrangler during the Iran-Contra years was, under Richard Nixon, chairman 
of the Securities and Exchange Commission. His profession: Wall Street lawyer 
and stock trader. 

In 1984 ABC News was devoting serious attention to a CIA scandal in Hawaii 
connected to the investment firm BBRDW (Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham, 
and Wong). The BBRDW story was lifting a veil connected to money laundering, 
drugs, and the failed CIA drug bank named Nugan-Hand. Bill Casey and the 
CIAs general counsel Stanley Sporkin put extreme pressure on both the network 
and anchor Peter Jennings to stop their coverage. During the semi-public battle, 
ABC's stock dropped from $67 to $59 a share, and by December, the firm Capital 
Cities was trying to buy the network. Capital Cities successfully completed the 
buyout of ABC in March of 1985, after which the CIA conveniently dropped a 
suit against the network. 7 

Bill Casey had helped to found Capital Cities and had served both as its lawyer 
and as a member of its board of directors in the years between his service as SEC 
chairman for Nixon and as director of Central Intelligence for Reagan. ABC 
became known thereafter as "the CIA network." 

Other sources, including the family of the late Colonel Albert Vincent Carone 
— about whom I have written extensively — confirm that Casey was a lifelong 
resident of Long Island and that Carone, a "made" member of the Genovese crime 
family, retired NYPD detective, and CIA operative, routinely exchanged insider 
trading information with Casey. Multiple witnesses have confirmed that Casey 
attended the christening of Carone's grandson. 

Stanley Sporkin: Sporkin served as the CIAs general counsel under Casey. But 
he had previously served for more than 20 years at the Securities and Exchange 
Commission, rising to the post of general counsel. Casey's right-hand man, he was 
one of the first people Casey brought with him to the CIA in 1981. Almost all of 
Sporkin's tenure at the SEC was spent in the enforcement division, charged with 
prosecuting corporate and stock fraud. 



The CIA is Wall Street, and Drug Money is King 55 

During the Iran-Contra investigations it was revealed that Sporkin had routine 
contact with Lt. Col. Oliver North, who was later convicted on several felony 
counts including lying to Congress. 8 At times the e-mails between the two men, 
alluding to the 1920s comedy team Laurel and Hardy, read "To Stanley from 
Ollie." 

After retiring as CIA general counsel in 1986, Sporkin was soon appointed a 
US district court judge in Washington, DC, where he presided over some of the 
most important trials (including Microsoft's) in the country. He resigned from the 
bench in January of 2000 and joined the Wall Street law firm of Weill, Gotschall, 
and Manges, self-described as specializing in "Wall Street Management and 
Capital." Weill, Gotschall, and Manges is currently serving as Enron's bankruptcy 
counsel. Although Sporkin received praise for many of his decisions from anti-cor- 
porate critics such as Ralph Nader, he presided over a number of more nefarious 
cases, including that of former Federal Housing Commissioner Catherine Austin 
Fitts, whose firm Hamilton Securities had been targeted for malicious and 
unfounded harassment after uncovering evidence of covert operations that tied the 
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to drug operations, 
slush funds, "friendly" Wall Street interests, and political corruption. 

Fitts was the target of a 1996 qui tarn whistleblower lawsuit, which allows 
charges to be filed under seal for 60 days while the Department of Justice (DoJ) 
investigates whether there is merit to the case. As a result, Fitts was not allowed to 
know who had made allegations against her, or even what the allegations were. 
Sporkin extended that seal for five years, thereby turning a brief investigation peri- 
od into a nightmare that prevented Fitts and her attorneys from being able to 
know, or even address, an accuser or his allegations. Sporkin was able to do this 
with no evidence of any wrongdoing, yet his decisions in the case routinely favored 
the unnamed parties seeking to discredit Fitts and upheld illegal actions by the 
federal government, including the seizure of her company offices (a clear violation 
of the Fourth Amendment). 

During this period the government destroyed the company's proprietary soft- 
ware tools and databases that documented community financial flows, and kept 
the backup tapes under the control of Sporkin-appointed trustees. Fitts has subse- 
quently been completely exonerated (no formal charges were ever filed), and it has 
been officially admitted that there was no basis for any action against her in the 
first place. Fitts has also documented several attempts by the Department of 
Justice investigators to falsify or destroy evidence. According to Insight 
Magazine, Department of Justice and HUD officials admitted off the record that 
it was a political vendetta. 

After a nine-year herculean struggle, Fitts is still in court defending against the 
qui tarn lawsuit (indirectly supported all this time by generous government pay- 
ments and contracts to the government informant who originally brought the suit) 
and trying to recover an estimated $2.5 million in funds owed to her company, 



56 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Hamilton Securities. A court of claims ruling in 2004 concluded that the government 
had breached its contract with Hamilton by refusing to pay Hamilton's outstanding 
invoices. Do] has indicated that the government will not pay, but will appeal. 

Hamilton had successfully helped HUD auction defaulted home mortgages, 
saving the Federal Housing Administration Fund over $2.2 billion. 9 In 2001, after 
finally succeeding in getting the seal removed from the original lawsuit and obtain- 
ing some of the transcripts of sealed hearing — one crucial item was "missing" 
from court records, Fitts and her attorneys discovered that Sporkin, apparently 
frustrated at DoJ's inability to make anything stick, had actively coached DoJ 
attorneys on how best to keep the case going in spite of its transparent lack of merit 
and that Do] was taking contradictory positions in an unsealed case before a different 
judge in the same court. 

David Doherty, who replaced Sporkin as CIA general counsel in 1987, is now 
the executive vice president of the New York Stock Exchange, for Enforcement. 

A. B. "Buzzy" Krongard: until he joined the CIA in 1998, Krongard was the 
CEO of the investment bank Alex Brown. In 1 997 he sold his interest in Alex 
Brown to Banker's Trust, where he served as vice chairman until "joining" the CIA 
in 1998. A close friend of CIA Director George Tenet, the colorful, cigar-smoking 
former Marine specialized in private banking operations serving extremely wealthy 
clients. It has been heavily documented by official US government investigations 
into money laundering that private banking services are frequently used for the 
laundering of drug money and the proceeds of corporate crime. 10 Private banking 
services were especially criticized in investigations of money laundering connected 
to the looting of Russia throughout the 1990s. 11 

John Deutch: Deutch retired from the CIA as its director in December 1996. 
He immediately accepted an offer to join the board of directors of the nation's 
second largest bank, Citigroup, which has been repeatedly involved in the docu- 
mented laundering of drug money. This includes Citigroup's 2001 purchase of a 
Mexican bank known to launder drug money, Banamex. 12 Deutch narrowly 
escaped criminal prosecution after it was learned that he had kept a large number 
of classified CIA documents on non-secure personal computers at his private resi- 
dence. 13 

Maurice "Hank" Greenberg: The CEO of American International Group (AIG) 
insurance and manager of the third largest pool of investment capital in the world 
was floated as a possible CIA director by Bill Clinton in 1995. 14 FTW exposed 
Greenberg's and AIG's long connection to CIA drug trafficking and covert opera- 
tions in a two-part series that was interrupted by the attacks of September 1 1 . 
Under Greenberg's stewardship, an AIG subsidiary severely bent several laws in 
conjunction with the Arkansas Development Financial Authority (AD FA) to 
establish what many have alleged was a first-class money laundering operation for 
drug funds arising from CIA-connected cocaine smuggling into Mena, Arkansas, 
in the 1980s. 



The CIA is Wall Street, and Drug Money is King 57 

In that series FTW reported that AIG employed in its San Francisco legal 
offices the wife of Medellin Cartel co-founder Carlos Lehder. I actually went to 
San Francisco and had lunch with her in the summer of 2001. Our investigations 
later disclosed that AIG had been tied to US covert operations going back to the 
World War II and conclusively linked to the heroin trade. 15 We also reported that 
AIG owned and operated the largest private fleet of full-sized airliners and cargo 
planes on the planet. 16 

As an illustrative example of how the quiet connections operate behind the 
scenes to conceal criminal activity, it was an AIG subsidiary, Lexington Insurance, 
that was involved in the AD FA deal and that also acted as the errors and omissions 
carrier for Catherine Austin Fitts's Hamilton Securities. At the start of Fitts's 
harassment by DoJ, Lexington reneged on obligations to pay Fitts's attorneys, who 
then dropped out of the case. This effectively enabled the DoJ with support from 
Judge Stanley Sporkin to seize Hamilton's computers and data, destroy the com- 
puters and software, and tie up the backup tapes for years. Those tapes likely 
contain data — originally supplied to Fitts by HUD — that could expose many 
illegal covert government operations. 

I was not surprised then when Greenberg — a staunch supporter of Israel — 
was chosen by the Council on Foreign Relations in 2002 to lead an investigation 
of terrorist financing. The CFR report, not surprisingly, was extremely critical of 
Saudi Arabia. 17 

Professor Peter Dale Scott of the University of California at Berkeley, author of 
many historically crucial books on covert operations and deep politics, observed 
in the early 1970s that six of the first seven CIA deputy directors were from the 
New York social register, and all seven deputy directors "under Walter Bedell 
Smith and Truman, came from New York legal and financial circles." 18 The head- 
quarters of the CIA's World War II predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services, 
was in the New York financial district. 

Drugs 

In late June of 1999, NYSE Chairman Dick Grasso traveled to Colombia and met 
with the leader of the FARC rebels controlling the southern third of the country. 
His trip was reported in the Associate Press, and, remarkably, the AP openly stat- 
ed that Grasso had asked the Colombian rebels to invest their profits in Wall 
Street. The FARC make their money by taxing the cocaine trade. Catherine Austin 
Fitts described the visit as "the ultimate cold call." 19 

The amount of profit generated annually by the drug trade, if it is known with 
any accuracy, is probably one of the most closely guarded secrets in the world. There 
are two kinds of money generated by the drug trade. First there is the money gen- 
erated at all the stages from growth or manufacture, to processing, to perhaps two 
or three stages of wholesaling, to retail street sales. Then there is all the money gen- 
erated by funding law enforcement, court systems, prisons, and all the construction, 



58 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

cars, radios, boats, guns, and airplanes that go into that. It has been estimated that 
the cost of prison construction and operation alone is around $30 billion a year. 20 

But all of that, as important as it is, is not what we are concerned with here. 
What we are concerned with is the cash generated from the growth or manufac- 
ture and sale of drugs — because that money is illegal. It needs to hide, and then 
it needs to be laundered before it can be used openly. It is not only cheap and secret 
capital; it is capital that must be put someplace legal before it can be used. The ille- 
gal-to-legal transition is where someone must know what is taking place. 
Ignorance there — especially when the laundering transactions are gigantic ones 
— is not a tenable position. 

Among the many kinds of illegal activities in the world, the production and 
laundering of drug money is central because it establishes channels for the flow of 
other criminal profits. In 2001, according to the International Monetary Fund, 
money laundering processed $1.5 trillion, a figure that exceeded the gross domes- 
tic products of all but the world's five largest economies. 21 In 2000 Le Monde 
Diplomatique, a respected French publication, estimated total annual criminal rev- 
enues at $1 trillion: "The drug trade accounts for as much as $500 bbn and at least 
$1 bbn in criminal money is laundered every day." 22 In 1997 the United Nations 
estimated that, as of 1996, the drug trade represented 8 percent of all world trad- 
ing activity as measured in dollars. It estimated then that the narcotics industry 
accounted for $440 billion in revenues. 23 

Looking at the cash flow in just one locality, PBS's "Frontline" tried to make 
the numbers a little easier to grasp. "Imagine a typical weekend in New York City. 
Experts estimate that at least one percent of the population (80,000 plus) spends 
$200 on illicit drugs. That alone would amount to $16 million dollars a week or 
$832 million a year. And that's just New York." 24 

Newer figures suggest that the drug trade generates $400-500 billion a year in 
cash. However, I once had a conversation with an expert on money laundering 
who held a very high-ranking position in a US government agency charged with 
monitoring global cash flows. On condition of anonymity, that expert told me, 
"It's much, much higher than that. Every conference I go to is attended by the 
CIA, and we all round the figure off to around $700 billion." Since the last real 
numbers I've been able to find date back a few years, and the drug trade is per- 
petually growing (along with the budgets to regulate it), I have settled on the figure 
of $600 billion a year for the purposes of my lectures and this book. 

Six hundred billion dollars a year is too much money to hide under a pillow. 
In fact, that much cash turning up in one place could overwhelm the banking sys- 
tem of a small or medium-sized country. Of course the money is scattered all over 
the place, except in the cases of the major traffickers, and it has a way of moving 
by itself, electronically, always seeking the places where it will either earn the most 
profits or do the most good for its owners. Cash, either hard currency or the elec- 
tronic kind, is a prized commodity on financial markets because it does things that 



The CIA is Wall Street, and Drug Money is King 59 

other kinds of wealth cannot do — such as pay bills or investors. The money 
moves so quickly that, unless one were in control of the computer systems that 
handle it, or the software that manages it, it would be impossible to trace. (An 
excellent discussion of how illegal money moves according to a separate set of laws 
— having nothing to do with what we tend to think of as the law — is contained 
in Hot Money by R.T. Naylor [Black Rose Books, 1994].) 

Second, of all the illegal drugs, from heroin to steroids to ecstasy to cocaine to 
marijuana, it is heroin and cocaine that are by far the most profitable and which 
make up the lion's share of that $600 billion figure. The mark-up for these drugs 
is substantially higher, especially when one considers the weight or volume 
involved per dollar of markup in price. 

Almost all of the world's cocaine comes from Colombia, having been either 
grown or processed there. The heavy production of cocaine in the 1980s from 
Bolivia, Peru, and in smaller quantities from other Andean nations was largely erad- 
icated by the early 1990s as most production moved north. However, it is important 
to understand that worldwide cocaine use has not seen a major drop since the 1980s. 
After having peaked at around 600 metric tons in 1987-1988, recent estimates and 
statements by the Department of Justice have placed US cocaine consumption at 
around 500 metric tons (a metric ton is 2,200 lbs) a year. 25 That's an interesting fact, 
since according to an interview I conducted with Dr. Sidney Cohen, a drug expert 
at UCLA, domestic cocaine consumption in 1979 was only around 80 metric tons. 26 

Somewhere between 400 and 500 metric tons of heroin is consumed world- 
wide each year. According to DEA and Department of Justice intelligence reports, 
about 60 percent of the heroin consumed in the US also comes from Colombia. 27 
But almost all the heroin consumed elsewhere in the world comes from Afghanistan. 
Like the coca leaf, the opium poppy from which heroin is made grows mainly in 
the mountains and prefers altitudes above 5,000 feet. But unlike coca, opium is 
grown in several different regions of the world: South America; the so-called 
Golden Triangle of Laos, Burma, and Thailand; and Afghanistan, Pakistan, and cen- 
tral Asia in an area called the Golden Crescent. From 1997 to 2000 and again in 
2002, the world's largest producer of opium was Afghanistan, responsible for about 
70 percent of the world's supply. 28 

What happened in 2001? The Taliban banned opium production in the late 
summer of 2000 and destroyed almost all the opium that still remained planted; this 
was completed and confirmed in January of 2001. 29 According to the Independent, 
"The area of land given over to growing opium poppies in 2001 fell by 91 percent 
compared with the year before, according to the UN Drug Control Programme's 
(UNDCP) annual survey of Afghanistan. Production of fresh opium, the raw mate- 
rial for heroin, went down by an unprecedented 94 percent, from 3,276 tonnes to 
185 tonnes." 

Other sources placed the 2000 Afghan opium harvest (conducted from May to 
June, before the ban) at more than 3,600 metric tons. The planting season for 



60 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

opium in that region is November, and the harvest is in the spring. A kilogram (2.2 
lbs) of Afghan heroin, refined at a 10:1 ratio from opium, was then fetching 
US$150,000 in Moscow. 30 

It is interesting to note that in 1996, according to the DEA, "Worldwide opium 
production was 4,157 metric tons" (an increase of 20 percent in a single year). 31 
Contrast that with one report obtained from the UN Drug Control Program by 
the magazine High Times stating, "Production of raw opium in Afghanistan shot 
up from 2,600 tons in 1998 to a record 4,600 tons" in 2000.32 

What is so significant about this is that if Afghanistan was producing 70 per- 
cent of the world's opium, and it produced a minimum of 3,600 tons in 2000, 
then global consumption increased from 4,100 tons to 5,100 tons (25 percent) in 
just four years. If, on the other hand, Afghanistan, as reported by the UN, pro- 
duced 4,600 metric tons of opium in 2000 and retained a 70 percent market share, 
then world heroin use had risen 58 percent to 6,571 metric tons per year. Even 
Ken Lay of Enron would be jealous of that kind of growth. 

It is not likely that opium use increased 60 percent worldwide in four years. 
Based on my years of experience, my estimate is that only 8-12 percent of the 
world's population is predisposed to addiction. The other conclusion available is 
that world opium production was being deliberately concentrated in Afghanistan. 
But by whom and for what purpose? 

Drug money-steroids of the financial world 

Now, if you were a corporate executive needing to borrow money for an LBO or to 
finance a pipeline, you could go borrow the money legally at 9 percent, or you could 
borrow drug money laundered once, looking to become legal, at 6 percent. The drug 
lord is only too happy to own the bonds of, for example, Halliburton or General 
Electric. But if you really wanted to make a killing, you would launder some drug 
money onto your bottom line and increase your net profits. You might do it by sell- 
ing your products "off the books" and accepting cash for them. Then you would just 
inflate your net profits without any increased costs. Philip Morris has been charged 
with doing just that. 33 Or, if you made vehicles, you could sell large quantities for a 
check from an offshore bank, no questions asked, to a guy in South America who 
wanted to open a Chevy dealership. GM (below) has reportedly done that. 

Enron's crimes all centered around the illegal overstatement of net profits. They 
cooked their books using an accounting system called Pro-Forma that allowed 
them to borrow money with one subsidiary and then book the deposits as earn- 
ings. They even created phony companies that could do business, using paper or 
electronic transactions, with other Enron companies. This was the purpose of 
Enron's so-called off-the-books partnerships known as Chewco, Raptor, and LMJ. 

Enron also manipulated energy prices through a variety of methods to cre- 
ate or worsen shortages, raise prices, and rob Californians blind. 34 Enron engaged 
in a shockingly wide array of financial crimes, betraying their stockholders and 



The CIA is Wall Street, and Drug Money is King 61 

employees. But all the creativity of Enron executives Andy Fastow or Jeff Skillings 
or Ken Lay could never produce the pure financial power that drug money offers. 

Apparently Enron knew that. It ran about 2,000 subsidiary companies all over 
the world. About 700 of them were in the Cayman Islands. 35 There is no oil or gas 
in the Cayman Islands. There is, however, an awful lot of drug money. 

Everything else Enron did had to pass through other companies, leaving records 
behind. Drug money is much, much simpler. Enron's trading company, Enron 
Online, was one of the largest money-moving operations in the world. It was just 
computers and wires in cities and to banks all over the globe. It was a bank. And 
it was there that the greatest criminal activity occurred. When Enron went bank- 
rupt, the US government allowed Enron to sell Enron Online to the Union Bank 
of Switzerland. 36 That meant that all of the evidence of money laundering by 
Enron is now owned by a Swiss bank and out of reach for federal prosecutors. 
Neither the Congress nor any US enforcement agency did a thing to stop the sale 
or the transfer of the records. The evidence walked. 

For banks also, drug money has a special allure. That is why major banks like 
Citigroup, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and JPMorgan 
Chase all offer private client services for the very wealthy with very few questions 
asked. Yes, the US Treasury and the Department of Justice make a show of being 
tough under "Know Your Client" regulations. But the truth is that money does 
pretty much whatever it wants to. And for a bank, every dollar that it has on 
deposit allows it to lend between 9 and 15 or so dollars based upon the require- 
ments set for it by the Federal Reserve System. 

For a bank, a loan is the same thing an order is for a manufacturer. Loans show 
up on a bank's books as assets, and that's part of what helps determine a bank's 
stock value. Of course, if a bank takes an extra fee, no questions asked, as Citigroup 
did from Raul Salinas de Gortari, brother of the former Mexican president, for 
laundering $100 million in drug profits, who's to say how that money gets report- 
ed when it comes to net profits? 37 

Birds do it, bees do it — even GE does it 

In 2000 the Department of Justice held a drug money laundering conference and 
invited some of the biggest names on Wall Street. The names were not chosen by 
accident. Their products had been tracked and linked to money laundering oper- 
ations in Colombia. It had been noticed how much drug money was going into 
the bottom lines of certain major corporations. The companies asked to attend the 
conference were Hewlett Packard, Ford, Sony, General Motors, Whirlpool, 
General Electric, and Philip Morris. 38 

These companies, according to PBS and the Justice Department, were merely 
innocent victims of the trade. It's hard to understand how you are being victimized 
if your sales are great and people are paying with cash. But the case of Philip Morris 
perhaps exemplifies general corporate attitudes about drug money. Philip Morris 



62 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

has been sued by the government of Colombia for smuggling Marlboro cigarettes 
into that country (bypassing the tax man) and readily accepting large amounts of 
drug cash from traffickers, then smuggling the cash back into the United States. 39 

Just recently the tobacco giant RJ Reynolds (Nabisco) has been sued by the 
entire European Union for large-scale smuggling and money laundering. 40 The 
competitive edge provided by handling drug money is an instrumental factor in 
who can compete in a globalized, new-world, corporate order. 

A final note before moving on: As Enron (an energy trading company) was fail- 
ing, the energy giant Dynegy put up $1.5 billion in cash as part of a plan to bail 
Enron out. Enron got the money and Dynegy wound up getting nothing. 41 What 
is significant is that Chevron, which had vast investments in central Asian oil 
fields, had been a part owner of Dynegy since 1996. In 2001 Chevron added to 
its investment by giving Dynegy $1.5 billion just before Dynegy gave $1.5 billion 
to Enron. 42 So Chevron was either directly or indirectly bailing out Enron, with- 
out getting tarred by the unfolding scandal. 

This takes on an added significance given Enron's drug money laundering con- 
nections and the fact that Enron, along with other energy companies like Halliburton, 
had deep financial commitments in the region that were tied both to the successful 
development of central Asian oil and gas and had ready access to drug cash. 

Enron had the contracts to do feasibility studies for much of the pipeline con- 
struction that was desperately needed in the region, and it also had a $3 billion 
investment in a new "white elephant" natural gas-powered electrical-generating 
station in Dabhol, India, that had only one problem: it couldn't get access to cheap 
natural gas without a pipeline across Afghanistan. One former oil industry corpo- 
rate attorney summed it up best when he said, "When big oil eats, everybody eats. 
When big oil doesn't eat, nobody eats." 

The CIA's drug-dealing 

This topic deserves an entire book. For 25 years I have researched it, studied it, and 
compiled documentary evidence proving it in the pages of FTW. In every one of 
my twenty-eight 2002 lectures the audience universally accepted that the Central 
Intelligence Agency of the United States deals drugs. But not everyone fully under- 
stood its significance. 

In this section, rather than attempting to make the comprehensive case, what I 
want to do is merely present three or four key pieces of evidence demonstrating 
outright culpability on the Agency's part. They will all have a direct bearing on 
9/11. My experience is that if three or four undeniable pieces of evidence don't 
convince people, the other 300 or 400 pieces will not make a difference. 

A smoking gun 

As the national controversy raged over the Gary Webb stories from 1996 through 
1998, pieces of evidence started to leak into the public domain. One piece, a 1981 



The CIA is Wall Street, and Drug Money is King 63 

letter from then US Attorney General William French Smith to Director of 
Central Intelligence (DCI) Bill Casey, summarized the results of a long negotia- 
tion process that changed the CIA's obligations under the law when people who 
worked for it were caught dealing drugs. 

It had previously been a requirement under Title 18 of the US Code that, 
whenever a manager or department of the executive branch discovered that an 
employee was breaking the law, an immediate notification to the US Department 
of Justice or one of its enforcement agencies had to be made. In 1981, at the start 
of the Contra War the CIA had a problem. It knew that the coming covert oper- 
ations were going to witness a dramatic explosion in the volume of cocaine 
entering the States. It needed not only a cover for itself but also a legal way to cir- 
cumvent what was sure to be a deluge of reports (which did occur) about US 
government personnel or contractors who were moving drugs. 

In a two-stage negotiation process, the CIA and the Department of Justice first 
made an arbitrary decision that anyone who worked for the CIA (whether a full- 
time employee or contractor or employee of a CIA proprietary company) 43 who 
did not hold "officer" rank within the agency was deemed not to be an employee. 
In the next stage, it was decided that "no formal requirement" for the reporting of 
violations of drug laws was going to be required under the newly reached memo- 
randum of understanding. 

Proof of this surfaced when a copy of the letter formalizing the agreement was 
sent anonymously to the office of Congresswoman Maxine Waters when she was 
still championing the issue. A key sentence in the letter said, "In light of these pro- 
visions, and in view of the fine cooperation the Drug Enforcement Administration 
has received from CIA, no formal requirement regarding the reporting of narcotics 
violations has been included in these procedures." 44 With the stroke of a pen the 
CIA had been absolved from turning in its employees, its contractors, and the 
employees of its proprietary companies who were soon to be found smuggling 
cocaine, hand over fist, and airplane over cargo ship. 

A copy of the letter was inserted in the CIAs final inspector general (IG) report 
in October 1998, long after the nation had forgotten the issue and become lost in 
Monika Lewinsky's dress. (See page 64) 

The smoking airplanes 

In the 1980s and 1990s the Central Intelligence Agency schemed to move a num- 
ber of large C-130 Hercules transports from US government ownership into the 
hands of private contractors so that some of them could be used for covert opera- 
tions that were "deniable" by the Agency. The C-130 is a military aircraft, and it 
is banned from export without State Department certifications. Under the CIA 
plan, some 28 of the giant transports were moved from the Department of Defense 
into the hands of the US Forest Service. From there, ostensibly for the humani- 
tarian purpose of fighting forest fires, they were again transferred into the hands 



64 



CROSSING THE RUBICON 




February 11, 1982 




HonorabXc William J. Casey 
Director 

Central Intelligence A^eiicy ?V 
Washington, D-C. 20505 I.*. 

oeax eill-; 

Than3< you. for your letter regarding the proeedttres "5 
governing the reporting and use o£ information concerning =T 
fedexa.1 crimes- r have reviewed the. draft of the procedures 
■chat accompanied your letter and., la pajrfcicular, the minor- 
changes made in the draft that I had previously sent to you. 
These proposed changes axe acceptable and, therefore / J 
iiavc signed toe procedures. 

_ i have been advised that a question, arose regarding- the 
need, to a<lG narcotics violations to the list of rep ox table 
no n-'eifl'p loy e g crimas (Section IV) . 21 U.S,C_ 5E74(h) provides 
•that "Iwjhcn requested hy the Attorney Gensxal, it- shall 
the duty of -any agency or inRtruraoirfcality of the Tedeml 
Government to furnish assistance to him for carrying- oat, his 
functions under I the Controlled Substances Act] . _ 
Section i-8(to] of Executive order 12333 taslcs the Central 
Intelligence Agency to "collect* produce and diss ami 
intelligence on foreign aspects Ot narcotics production and 
.traff icicing . w . Moreover, authorization Cor the diGceiaination 
of 'information eoifceming narcafcicr violatons to law enforce*- 
ment agencies, including the Departreent of Justice, is provided, 
by sections 2.3(c) and (j) and 9.-fithl of the Order, in iichc 
of these provisions/ and in view of the fine cooperation the 
drug Enforcement Mministration has received front CXA r no 
foxsaX requirement regarding the reporting of narcotics 
violations has been included in these procedures* we look, 
forward to the CIA' 5 continuing cooperation with the Department 
ox? Justice in this area- 

In view of our agreement reg-arSing fcHe procednrea, E have 
instructed lay Counsel for Intelligence Policy to circulate a 
copy which X have- executed to each of the other agencies covered, 
by the procedures in ordar that they may be signed by the head 
o£ each such agency. 




William French SmitJ 
Attorney General 



of private contractors, many of whom were later revealed to have CIA connections 
or contracts, or established relationships with CIA proprietaries. 45 



The scheme started to come unraveled as a number of investigators, including 
Vietnam veteran Gary Eitel, himself a pilot, began turning up documents in court 
cases showing links to the Agency. The cases were extremely well covered by main- 
stream press; they prompted stories in the AP and a large series in the Riverside 
Press Enterprise by veteran reporter Dave Hendrix. 46 The problem was that many 
of the C-130s kept turning up in such remote locations as Panama, Mexico, 
Colombia, Angola, and the Middle East. In many cases, when they were examined, 
they were carrying anything but fire retardant. In fact, one of the C-130s, con- 
nected to CIA affiliate T&G Aviation of Arizona, was seized in 1 994 with a billion 
dollars worth of cocaine on board. Eitels investigation had established a connec- 
tion between T&G, operated by Woody Grantham, and another company called 
Trans Latin Air. 47 



The Trans Latin Air investigation led to an investigation of Aero 
Postale de Mexico. In April 1998 stories in the Mexican paper La 



The CIA is Wall Street, and Drug Money is King 65 



Reforma reported that the Mexican Attorney General had indicted 
three officials of the private freight hauling company Aero Postale de 
Mexico which routinely delivered mail and other goods throughout 
Latin and Central America on charges that they had provided aircraft 
to the drug cartel headed by the Arellano Felix brothers. That investi- 
gation had commenced in 1997, and Aero Postale planes were 
reportedly hauling multi-thousand kilo loads of cocaine during the 
period. One of the C-130s was impounded at the Mexico City air- 
port. Purchase of the aircraft was financed by Mexican banker Carlos 
Cabal, who was assured repayment of the loans by the US Import- 
Export Bank. It is impossible to believe CIA would not have noticed 
such a transaction. T&G sold the planes to Aero Postale in 1993 at 
the same time he sold planes to Trans Latin Air. 48 

Records of the massive cocaine bust, though suppressed by the major media, 
did get introduced into evidence in a major drug prosecution in Chicago that 
same year. 49 

The heat had started to fall on the Forest Service five years earlier when the 
planes first started getting caught with drugs aboard during Contra support 



dec t < bw 




Miaueeti sfl* OpiEfltiBM Mnialan 

avuccii Ltttdi to »ct4ttry noa Hitiojiu xir arri*r 

TTili IvfcttE caiaaa th* i**u* at th* aiitfcprlLy ot fcha funil 

dirvlet to acvriit* liceeaft ft*9 tha Dinttnant *f Dcfaftii 
IoUd} ana* aaahnnaa bta ■ ■iiaraft with ilreank*? eantFiecari. 

Wat i-ilW [■»aCiilil jliCklAiad bflLnv*. I CuliCl Lid* Cb»t thw fufvtt 

sat vie* daaa nflt hava th* auihuley be conduct aha aaehmga 

I undaratanA that In tti* P*at on* q£ th* Attn! whanby tha 
*tE**nlfir QfrrttietHr* vauid abtiln utEtraft -<*f through tb« 
exchange ptoguA with npr, ko wcuifl 4ir*ctiy *Jr«i*rga *n 
M cerate £*r *H uldcif historical aircraft, iti* hlaiorlc 
*il*r*f^ th*l* rtSlild be donated to A. MUaaUa, tiaklAlly ctfchae th* 

Smithsonian qs t>a+ *i Cti* POP nuaauiM. POP hta b**n u^Liin? La 
4o thi* tinea -.liar* It nn cpcc, «n4 h«h cqg T"?it o£ 
■ taring and maintain! A? th* ttecu 4ltCE*It. typl^enLlfr 
CiAC^uaa on* ot tha excaa* alrerarc tftax waa Dxenap^ad Ufldflf 
ttri» pr"?"Jt*^ «nfl>d up In bt|a paHaxaion, d?ug (upp«Eit* 

now le reluctant t* txehtn?* iiricttt airaatiy with th>i 
contractDEC. 

Tft* f4(MC etrviea new ha* Riauud CM ffl4* « laetcmadiaty, 

fciEtrtft t* W* Pftfiit Btcvie* *J,a eha qanarM a*r«t«*-i 
kin iniibratlon < CJ* I , ftia Fe[**k-£*rvic« tunitrri Khm 
aictiEart b4 4n tit tilth* C 44ntr4«tfi£ in It^triia lot ftfi lYlft4>rL4 
*Lcvt*t%, TH.W For ntt Cafvtoa thnn dgnnhaB fcha hletnclp 

iiictatt t* 4 App*r^nti¥. wn %Mt\*v th*t b*n^ 

the FOEflat! fiiiviQ* «p th* ljie»ra"Jiary, 11 any Tutui* nirciift 
4c* Uaad In it lit idHlq^lin^ < tha roitlt B#EVli* *nJ not BOB ^Ul 
aq««4C th* aavicaa piiBlietty, 

C 



r mm 



66 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

operations. The Forest Service had their lawyers evaluate the situation in the 
perennial government game of CYA. As a result, one of the most chilling docu- 
ments to ever reveal the depth of government cynicism emerged into public light. 
A 1989 memo from a Forest Service lawyer to Associate Chief George Leonard 
concluded, "Apparently, DoD [the Pentagon, CIAs name never appears on docu- 
ments like this] thinks that by having the Forest Service as the intermediary, if any 
future aircraft are used in drug smuggling, the Forest Service and not DoD will 
suffer the adverse publicity." 

The smoking Inspector General report 

I could fill this book with excerpts from the CIA IG report, written by Frederick 
P. Hitz and released on October 8, 1998 — the same day that the impeachment 
of Bill Clinton began in the House. To demonstrate what kind of material is in 
that report, I will include just three brief quotations. The number in front of each 
paragraph refers to its location in the IG report. 

490. On March 25, 1987, CIA questioned [Moises] Nunez about nar- 
cotics trafficking allegations against him. Nunez revealed that since 
1985, he had engaged in a clandestine relationship with the National 
Security Council (NSC). Nunez refused to elaborate on the nature of 
these actions, but indicated it was difficult to answer questions relating 
to his involvement in narcotics trafficking because of the specific tasks 
he had performed at the direction of the NSC. Nunez refused to iden- 
tify the NSC officials with whom he had been involved. [Note: Oliver 
North was the NSC point man for all Contra support activities.] 

491. Headquarters cabled in April 1987 that a decision had been 
made to "debrief" Nunez regarding the revelations he had made. The 
next day however, a Headquarters cable stated that "Headquarters had 
decided against... debriefing Nunez." The cable offered no explana- 
tion for the decision. 50 

Another key passage discussing a Honduran airline documented to be moving 
as much as four tons of cocaine a month found that: 

816. SETCO was chosen by NHAO [the Nicaraguan Humanitarian 
Assistance Office, at the time coordinated by current National 
Security Council staffer Elliot Abrams] to transport goods on behalf 
of the Contras from late 1985 through mid-1986. According to testi- 
mony by FDN leader Adolfo Calero before the Iran-Contra 
committees, SETCO received funds for Contra supply operations 
from the bank accounts that were established by Oliver North. 51 

And finally, the CIA acknowledged in its IG report that it had withheld infor- 
mation about drug trafficking by operatives involved in the Contra effort from 



The CIA is Wall Street, and Drug Money is King 67 



Congress, at the same time revealing that: 

1074. The analyst who drafted a Memorandum for Vice President 
Bush in April 1986 that related to potential Contras' involvement in 
drug trafficking recalls that OGI analysts who worked on coun- 
ternarcotics issues were not aware of those reports at the time — 
October to December 1984 — that they were first disseminated 
inside and outside the Agency. However, she says that CATF [Central 
American Task Force] Chief [Alan] Fiers did make the reporting avail- 
able to her in April 1986, stipulating that it could be used only for the 
Memorandum she was preparing for Vice President Bush. 

1084. 1986 Memorandum for Vice President Bush. On April 6, 
1986, a Memorandum entitled "Contra Involvement in Drug 
Trafficking" was prepared by CIA at the request of Vice President 
Bush. The Memorandum provided a summary of information that 
had been received in late 1984 regarding the alleged agreement 
between Southern Front Contra leader Eden Pastora's associates and 
Miami-based drug trafficker Jorge Morales. Morales reportedly had 
offered financial and aircraft support for the Contras in exchange for 
FRS pilots to "transship" Colombian cocaine to the United States. 
CIA disseminated this memorandum only to the Vice President. 52 

The importance of this revelation is that it had been the official position of 
then Vice President Bush that he had no hands-on relationship with the Contras, 
was out of the loop, and knew nothing. That's the position he took with the press, 
with Congress, and with the American people. 

Smoking history 

The CIA has been dealing drugs since before it was the CIA; already in its first 
days, as the OSS during World War II it was facilitating and managing the trade, 
and directing its criminal proceeds to the places of its masters' choosing. For addi- 
tional reading on the subject I recommend three excellent books: The Politics of 
Heroin, Alfred W. McCoy (Lawrence Hill Books, 1991); Cocaine Politics, Peter 
Dale Scott (University of California Press, 1991); and Powderburns, Celerino 
Castillo (Sundial, 1994). The use of the drug trade to secure economic advantage 
for an imperialist nation is at least as old as the British East India Company's first 
smuggling of opium from India into China in the late 1600s (the defense of that 
British practice, Scott points out, was John Stuart Mill's motivation for writing the 
tract "On Liberty"). They did that for 300 years. When something works that 
well, the ruling elites rarely let go of it. 

An interesting end came to the investigations arising out of the Gary Webb sto- 
ries that (re)started all the controversy about the CIA and drugs. Frederick P. Hitz, 
the CIA inspector general who oversaw the report's production, retired immedi- 



68 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

ately afterward in March 1998. A graduate of the Harvard Law School, Hitz was 
rewarded with a teaching post at Princeton University funded by Goldman 
Sachs. 53 His retirement, seven months before a declassified version of the report 
was made public, was celebrated with an entry in the Congressional Record. 

One question remains. Aside from the fact that from Afghanistan, to Pakistan, 
to Kazakhstan, to Colombia, oil and drugs always turn up in the same place, has 
there ever been any evidence connecting the oil industry to drugs directly? And 
what does that have to do with 9/11? 

Afghanistan and opium post-9/11 

In this context it is not surprising that the US completed its invasion of Afghanistan 
in November 2001 in the middle of the opium planting season. Among the first 
things the US forces and CIA did was to liberate a number of known opium war- 
lords who, they said, would assist US forces. 54 Opium farmers rejoiced and, amidst 
reports that they were being encouraged to do so, began planting massive opium 
crops. 55 In December, former CIA asset and opium warlord Ayub Afridi was released 
from prison and recruited by the CIA to unify local leaders against the Taliban. 56 

When the harvest of June 2002 came, Afghanistan had again become the world's 
largest producer of the opium poppy and the world's largest heroin supplier. From 
a paltry 180 tons under the Taliban in 2001, according to the UN, the estimated 
2002 harvest, under CIA protection, was close to 3,700 tons. 57 By March of 2003, 
World Bank President James Wolfensohn was reporting record levels of opium 
production and that drugs were a bigger earner for Afghanistan than foreign aid. 58 

The 2003 crop set new records, coming in at almost 4,000 tons. 59 And experts 
warned that the June, 2004 harvest might be 50 percent larger than that of 2003. 60 
In November of 2003, Reuters reported that current Afghan opium cultivation 
was 36 times higher than under the last year of Taliban rule. 61 

When I learned in early 2001 that the Taliban had destroyed Afghanistan's opium 
crop, I wrote that it was a form of economic warfare that might take a whole lot of 
money out of the world's banking system and its cooked books. There is always a lag 
between planting, harvesting, and the cash flows that show up as the heroin moves 
from farm, to laboratory, through several layers of wholesaling to the streets. The 
positive cash flow generated by Afghanistan's first post-Taliban harvest would not 
have started to hit the banking system for maybe six to eight months after June of 
2002. In the late summer and fall of 2002 the Dow Jones had sunk to nearly 7,200. 
As this book is written, and even as American jobs are disappearing, corporate prof- 
its and the so-called "non-job" recovery have seen the Dow again at 10,000 based 
upon massive consumer spending which is financed by credit that must be serviced 
with fractional amounts of cash by the lending agencies. The unprecedented 2004 
harvest might be connected with the fact that it is an election year. 

I don't mean to offer drugs as a complete explanation for the so-called eco- 
nomic recovery. But it helps to remember Occam's Razor. 



CHAPTER 



Connecting Drugs and Oil 

I wrote the following story for the October 24, 2000, issue of From The 
Wilderness. I have included excerpts here, and I thank author Kevin Phillips for 
quoting from it in his 2004 bestseller, American Dynasty. 

Halliburton Corporation's Brown and Root is one of the 
major components of THE BUSH-CHENEY DRUG EMPIRE 

FTW October 24, 2000 - The success of Bush vice-presidential running mate 
Richard Cheney at leading Halliburton, Inc. to a five-year $3.8-billion "pig-out" 
on federal contracts and taxpayer-insured loans is only a partial indicator of 
what may happen if the Bush ticket wins in two weeks. A closer look at avail- 
able research, including an August 2, 2000, report by the Center for Public 
Integrity (CPI) at <www.public-i.org>, suggests that drug money has played a 
role in the successes achieved by Halliburton under Cheney's tenure as CEO 
from 1995 to 2000. This is especially true for Halliburton's most famous sub- 
sidiary, heavy construction and oil giant, Brown and Root. A deeper look into 
history reveals that Brown and Root's past as well as the past of Dick Cheney him- 
self, connect to the international drug trade on more than one occasion and in 
more than one way. 

This June the lead Washington, DC attorney for a major Russian oil company, 
connected in law enforcement reports to heroin smuggling and also a beneficiary 
of US backed loans to pay for Brown and Root contracts in Russia, held a $2.2 
million fund-raiser to fill the already bulging coffers of presidential candidate 
George W. Bush. This is not the first time that Brown and Root has been con- 
nected to drugs, and the fact is that this "poster child" of American industry may 
also be a key player in Wall Street's efforts to maintain domination of the half tril- 
lion dollar a year global drug trade and its profits. And Dick Cheney, who has also 
come closer to drugs than most people suspect, and who is also Halliburton's 
largest individual shareholder ($45.5 million), has a vested interest in seeing to it 
that Brown and Root's successes continue. 



69 



70 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Of all American companies dealing directly with the US military and provid- 
ing cover for CIA operations, few firms can match the global presence of this giant 
construction powerhouse which employs 20,000 people in more than 100 coun- 
tries. Through its sister companies or joint ventures, Brown and Root can build 
offshore oil rigs, drill wells, construct and operate everything from harbors to 
pipelines to highways to nuclear reactors. It can train and arm security forces, and 
it can now also feed, supply, and house armies. One key beacon of Brown and 
Root's overwhelming appeal to agencies like the CIA is that, from its own corpo- 
rate web page, it proudly announces that it has received the contract to dismantle 
aging Russian nuclear-tipped ICBMs in their silos. 

Furthermore, the relationships between key institutions, players, and the 
Bushes themselves suggest that under a George "W" administration the Bush fam- 
ily and its allies may well be able, using Brown and Root as the operational interface, 
to control the drug trade all the way from Medellin to Moscow. 

Originally formed as a heavy construction company to build dams, Brown and 
Root grew its operations via shrewd political contributions to Senate candidate 
Lyndon Johnson in 1948, Expanding into the building of oil platforms, military 
bases, ports, nuclear facilities, harbors, and tunnels, Brown and Root virtually 
underwrote LBJ's political career. It prospered as a result, making billions on US 
Government contracts during the Vietnam War. The Austin Chronicle in an August 
28, Op-ed piece entitled "The Candidate From Brown and Root" labels Republican 
Cheney as the political dispenser of Brown and Root's largesse. According to polit- 
ical campaign records, during Cheney's five-year tenure at Halliburton the company's 
political contributions more than doubled to $1.2 million Not surprisingly, most 
of that money went to Republican candidates. 

Independent news service, <www.newsmakingnews.com>, also describes how, 
in 1998, with Cheney as chairman, Halliburton spent $8.1 billion to purchase 
Dresser Industries, a supplier of oil industry equipment and drilling machinery. 
This made Halliburton a corporation that will have a presence in almost any future 
oil drilling operation anywhere in the world. And it also brought back into the 
family fold the company that had once sent a plane — also in 1948 — to fetch 
the new Yale Graduate George H.W. Bush, to begin his career in the Texas oil busi- 
ness. Bush the elder's father, Prescott, served as a managing director for the firm 
that once owned Dresser, Brown Bothers Harriman. 

It is clear that everywhere there is oil there is Brown and Root. But increasing- 
ly, everywhere there is war or insurrection there is Brown and Root also. From 
Bosnia and Kosovo, to Chechnya, to Rwanda, to Burma, to Pakistan, to Laos, to 
Vietnam, to Indonesia, to Iran, to Libya, to Mexico, to Colombia, Brown and 
Root's traditional operations have expanded from heavy construction to include 
the provision of logistical support for the US military. Now, instead of US Army 
quartermasters, the world is likely to see Brown and Root warehouses storing and 
managing everything from uniforms to rations to vehicles. 



CONNECTING DRUGS AND OIL 71 



Drugs 

As described by the Associated Press, during "Iran-Contra" Congressman Dick 
Cheney of the House Intelligence Committee was a rabid supporter of Marine Lt. 
Col. Oliver North. This was in spite of the fact that North had lied to Cheney in 
a private 1986 White House briefing. Oliver North's own diaries and subsequent 
investigations by the CIA inspector general have irrevocably tied him directly to 
cocaine smuggling during the 1980s and the opening of bank accounts for one 
firm moving four tons of cocaine a month. This, however, did not stop Cheney 
from actively supporting North's 1994 unsuccessful run for the US Senate from 
Virginia just a year before he took over the reins at Brown and Root's parent com- 
pany, Dallas-based Halliburton Incorporated in 1995. 

As the Bush secretary of defense during Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-91), 
Cheney also directed special operations involving Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. 
The Kurds' primary source of income for more than 50 years has been heroin 
smuggling from Afghanistan and Pakistan through Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. Having 
had some personal experience with Brown and Root, I took note when the Los 
Angeles Times observed that on March 22, 1991, a group of gunmen burst into the 
Ankara, Turkey, offices of the joint venture, Vinnell, Brown and Root and assassi- 
nated retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant John Gandy. 

In March of 1991, tens of thousands of Kurdish refugees, long-time assets of 
the CIA, were being massacred by Saddam Hussein in the wake of the Gulf War. 
Saddam, seeking to destroy any hopes of a successful Kurdish revolt, found it easy 
to kill thousands of the unwanted Kurds who had fled to the Turkish border seek- 
ing sanctuary. There, Turkish security forces, trained in part by the Vinnell, Brown 
and Root partnership, turned back thousands of Kurds into certain death. Today, 
the Vinnell Corporation (a TRW Company) is, along with the firms MPRI and 
DynCorp (FTWJune, 2000), one of the three pre-eminent private mercenary cor- 
porations in the world. It is also the dominant entity for the training of security 
forces throughout the Middle East. Not surprisingly the Turkish border regions in 
question were the primary transshipment points for heroin grown in Afghanistan 
and Pakistan and destined for the markets of Europe. 

A confidential source with intelligence experience in the region subsequently 
told me that the Kurds "got some payback against the folks that used to help them 
move their drugs." He openly acknowledged that Brown and Root and Vinnell 
both routinely provided NOC, or non-official cover, for CIA officers. No surprise 
there. 

From 1994 to 1999, during US military intervention in the Balkans where, 
according to "The Christian Science Monitor" and "Jane's Intelligence Review," 
the Kosovo Liberation Army controls 70 percent of the heroin entering Western 
Europe, Cheney's Brown and Root made billions of dollars supplying US troops 
from vast facilities in the region. Brown and Root support operations continue in 
Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia to this day. 



72 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Dick Cheney's footprints have come closer to drugs than is generally recog- 
nized. A Center for Public Integrity report from last August brought them even 
closer. It would be factually correct to say that there is a direct linkage of Brown 
and Root facilities (often in remote and hazardous regions) between every drug- 
producing region and every drug-consuming region in the world. These coincidences, 
in and of themselves, do not prove complicity in the trade. Other facts, however, 
lead inescapably in that direction. 

A Direct Drug Link 

The CPI report entitled "Cheney Led Halliburton To Feast at Federal Trough" 
written by veteran journalists Knut Royce and Nathaniel Heller describes how, 
under five years of Cheney's leadership, Halliburton, largely through subsidiary 
Brown and Root, enjoyed $3.8 billion in federal contracts and taxpayer insured 
loans. The loans had been granted by the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and the 
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). According to Ralph McGehee's 
"CIA Base ©," both institutions are heavily infiltrated by the CIA and routinely 
provide NOC to its officers. 

One of those loans to Russian financial/banking conglomerate The Alfa Group 
of Companies contained $292 million to pay for Brown and Root's contract to 
refurbish a Siberian oil field owned by the Russian Tyumen Oil Company. The 
Alfa Group completed its 5 1 percent acquisition of Tyumen Oil in what was 
allegedly a rigged bidding process in 1998. An official Russian government report 
claimed that the Alfa Group's top executives, oligarchs Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr 
Aven "allegedly participated in the transit of drugs from Southeast Asia through 
Russia and into Europe." 

Fridman and Aven, who reportedly smuggled the heroin in connection with 
Russia's Solntsevo mob family, were the same executives who applied for the EXIM 
loans that Halliburton's lobbying later safely secured. As a result, Brown and 
Root's work in Alfa Tyumen oil fields could continue — and expand. 

The CPI story reports allegations that organized criminal interests in the Alfa 
Group had stolen the oil field by fraud. It then uses official reports from the FSB 
(the Russian equivalent of the FBI), oil companies such as BP-Amoco, former CIA 
and KGB officers, and press accounts to establish a solid link to Alfa Tyumen and 
the transportation of heroin. 

In 1995, sacks of heroin disguised as sugar were stolen from a rail container 
leased by Alfa Echo and sold in the Siberian town of Khabarovsk. A problem arose 
when many residents of the town became "intoxicated" or "poisoned." The CPI 
story also stated, "The FSB report said that within days of the incident, Ministry 
of Internal Affairs (MVD) agents conducted raids of Alfa Eko buildings and found 
'drugs and other compromising documentation.'" 

Both reports claim that Alfa Bank has laundered drug funds from Russian and 
Colombian drug cartels. 



CONNECTING DRUGS AND OIL 73 



The FSB document claims that at the end of 1993, a top Alfa official met with 
Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, the now imprisoned financial mastermind of 
Colombia's notorious Cali cartel, to conclude an agreement about the transfer of 
money into the Alfa Bank from offshore zones such as the Bahamas, Gibraltar, and 
others. The plan was to insert it back into the Russian economy through the pur- 
chase of stock in Russian companies "He [the former KGB agent] reported that 
there was evidence regarding [Alfa Bank's] involvement with the money launder- 
ing of Latin American drug cartels." 

It would be difficult for Cheney and Halliburton to assert mere coincidence in 
all of this, as CPI reported that Tyumen's lead Washington attorney James C. 
Langdon Jr. at the firm of Aikin Gump "helped coordinate a $2.2 million fund- 
raiser for Bush this June. He then agreed to help recruit 1 00 lawyers and lobbyists 
in the capital to raise $25,000 each for W's campaign." 

The heroin mentioned in the CPI story originated in Laos, where longtime 
Bush allies and covert warriors Richard Armitage [Note: Richard Armitage is 
currently the US deputy secretary of state] and retired CIA ADDO (associate 
deputy director of operations) Ted Shackley have been repeatedly linked to 
the drug trade. It then made its way across Southeast Asia to Vietnam, proba- 
bly the port of Haiphong. Then the heroin sailed to Russia's Pacific port of 
Valdivostok from whence it subsequently bounced across Siberia by rail and 
thence by truck or rail to Europe, passing through the hands of Russian Mafia 
leaders in Chechnya and Azerbaijan. Chechnya and Azerbaijan are hotbeds of 
both armed conflict and oil exploration; Brown and Root has operations all along 
this route. 

This long, expensive, and tortured path was hastily established, as described by 
FTW'm previous issues, after President George [Herbert Walker] Bush's personal 
envoy Richard Armitage, holding the rank of Ambassador, traveled to the former 
Soviet Union to assist it with its "economic development" in 1989. Trafficking 
heroin from the Golden Triangle (Burma, Laos, and Thailand), there was no way 
to deal with China and India but to go around them. 

The Clinton administration took care of all that wasted travel for heroin with 
the 1998 destruction of Serbia and Kosovo and the installation of the KLA as a 
regional power. That opened a direct line from Afghanistan to Western Europe, 
and Brown and Root was right in the middle of that too. The Clinton skill at 
streamlining drug operations was described in detail in the May issue of FTW in 
a story entitled "The Democratic Party's Presidential Drug Money Pipeline." That 
article has since been reprinted in three countries. The essence of the drug eco- 
nomic lesson was that by growing opium in Colombia and by smuggling cocaine 
and heroin from Colombia to New York City through the Dominican Republic 
and Puerto Rico (a virtual straight line), traditional smuggling routes could be 
shortened or even eliminated. This lowered the level of risk, reduced operating 
costs, increased profits, and eliminated competition. 



74 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

FTW suspects the hand of Medellin co-founder Carlos Lehder in this process 
and it is interesting to note that Lehder, released from prison under Clinton in 
1995, is now reportedly active in both the Bahamas and South America. Lehder 
was known during the eighties as "the genius of transportation." I can well imag- 
ine a Dick Cheney, having witnessed the complete restructuring of the global drug 
trade in the last eight years, going to George W. and saying, "Look, I know how 
we can make it even better." One thing is certain. As quoted in the CPI article, a 
Halliburton vice president noted that if the Bush-Cheney ticket was elected, "the 
company's government contracts would obviously go through the roof." 

Popstcript 2003 

Some two years after this story was written, I note with irony that Brown and 
Root's (now Kellogg, Brown and Root, or KBR) government services continue to 
expand. This in spite of the fact that, along with about 25 other large companies 
Halliburton-KBR has been sued by stockholders and public interest groups for 
cooking its books to inflate stock values during Cheney's tenure. As in so many 
other instances, the administration has made it clear what their response is. On 
July 26, 2002 process servers, seeking to serve Vice President Cheney with a sub- 
poena for his role in the allegedly criminal behavior, were turned away from the 
White House by armed guards. 1 

So much for the rule of law. 
I also note with irony that, according to a November 2, 2002, Reuters story, a 
Colombian court has just ordered the release of Orejuela brothers, Miguel and 
Gilberto (arrested in 1995), from prison. Pro-American President Alvaro Uribe, a 
staunch opponent of the FARC guerillas who control most of southern Colombia 
with its oil and cocaine, has expressed shock and outrage. But I strongly suspect 
that the Orejuelas are back for a purpose, i.e., the control of narcotics cash flows 
once the FARC have been defeated, or as US control of the drug trade in the occu- 
pied territories of Afghanistan and Iraq requires special expertise. 2 

Gilberto Orejuela was, in fact, released from prison speedily and without inter- 
ference by the Colombian government on November 7, 2002. 3 

Iraqi invasion validates the map 

Shortly after the US occupation of Iraq in April 2003, a large no-bid contract was 
awarded to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to extinguish 
oil well fires. 4 There were not many such fires, and long-time critics of Halliburton 
were vocal about the apparent patronage shown to the company, once headed by 
Vice President Dick Cheney, by the no-bid process. Although Halliburton-KBR 
efforts to get further rebuilding contracts for hospitals and bridges were awarded 
to other major campaign donors like the Bechtel Group, KBR held on to the oil 
contract and also secured lucrative contracts to handle food and supplies for American 
troops. Just one such logistics contract had paid KBR $90 million by early May 



CONNECTING DRUGS AND OIL 75 



with little positive result and no apparent stimulation for the Iraqi economy. 5 This 
is the same company that I had personally seen involved in heroin smuggling with 
CIA personnel in 1977. KBR is always full of surprises. 

But the biggest surprises were yet to come. 
In mid-April the New York Times reported that the KBR oil well firefighting con- 
tract was worth up to $7 billion — which raised more eyebrows because the fires 
were out. 6 Further disclosures continued to arouse vocal public reaction, especial- 
ly from California Congressman Henry Waxman, but none so much as the fact 
that the no-bid contract was ultimately found to have given Halliburton-KBR the 
authority to administer all of Iraq's oil fields and to distribute the oil. This strik- 
ing development was the result of a decision awarded under an "extra work" clause 
in the firefighting contract. The original source of the contract was the US Army 
Corps of Engineers, under the supervision of then Army Secretary Thomas White, 
a former Enron executive. 7 

I could only laugh on May 1 1 when a story in Pakistan's the Balochistan Post 
reported that Baghdad, which had never had a drug problem and had never even 
seen heroin, had been suddenly "flooded with narcotics — including heroin." 
Citing reports from the UK's Independent, the story said that heroin was being 
traded in alleys, and that there had not been any drugs in the country 
until the US invasion. The story's headline read, "Where the CIA is in control, 
narcotics flourish — . After Afghanistan, Baghdad is flooded with heroin." 8 Oil 
pipelines reportedly make excellent vehicles for smuggling drugs. Oil-drilling 
equipment, sometimes arriving or departing by corporate jet, is rarely inspected 
for other priceless commodities. 

[For more about the interrelationship between drugs and oil, I strongly recommend 
the book, Drugs, Oil and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia and 
Indochina by Professor Peter Dale Scott, Ph.D.; Rowman and Littlefield, 2003.] 



C H A 




E R 



A Criminal Meltdown 



legalization, the World Trade Organization, NAFTA, the IMF, the World 



V^jBank, the Great Bull Market of the 1990s, and the economic adulthood of 
the Empire have all been nurtured by the controlled and directed use of criminal 
money streams. One of the other great contributors to America's economic growth 
has been its willingness to profit from the destruction of the life, health, safety, and 
happiness of its population. As I write, more than two million people are in pris- 
ons or jails in the United States. 1 Many of those prisons are run by private 
corporations. That the profits of crime and war, which are destructive of human 
life, of labor, of happy, healthy neighborhoods (whether in the US or in 
Afghanistan, Africa, and Iraq), are in effect a keystone of the global economy and 
a determinant of success in a ruthless competition, is a compass needle for human 
civilization. One cannot expect to follow the recipe for road-kill stew and produce 
a creme brulee. 

So obvious has the situation become that it was addressed in February 2001 by 
a five-volume US Senate investigation of money laundering by foreign banks 
through the US banking system. Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan), the ranking 
minority member of the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, 
issued a particularly scathing minority report but seemed to miss the obvious: 

Through the Minority Staff's year-long investigation, its 450-page 
report, its close look at 1 high-risk foreign banks and its survey of 20 
major US correspondent banks, and through the Subcommittee's two 
days of hearings last week with experts and correspondent banking 
participants, we are getting a good understanding of the role of US 



correspondent banking in money laundering. Drug traffickers, 
defrauders, bribe takers, and other perpetrators of crimes can do indi- 
rectly — through a foreign bank's correspondent account with a US 
bank — what they can't readily do directly — have access to a US 
bank account. The stability of the US dollar, the services our banks 
perform, and the safety and soundness of our banking system make 




76 



A Criminal Meltdown 



77 



access to a US bank account an extremely attractive objective for 
money launderers. It is up to us — the Congress, the regulators, the 
banks — to try to stop money launderers from reaping the benefits of 
the prestigious banking system and stable economy we've worked so 
hard to achieve. 2 

Levin's statement missed the fact that the US economy was directly benefiting 
from this practice. Specifically named as offending banks, all too willing to do 
business with shell banks or banks known to lauder illegal money, were JPMorgan 
Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and First Union Bank. 3 

That report, and testimony during the hearings, acknowledged that approxi- 
mately $500 billion to $1 trillion in criminal money was laundered annually 
through the US banking system. While acknowledging that correspondent bank- 
ing had been a significant factor in the looting of Russia and in aiding terrorist and 
drug organizations, the report did not fully explore money laundering through US 
securities markets or by US banks directly. It did, however, acknowledge that prob- 
ably half of all laundered money, anywhere, got washed in the United States. 

Perhaps the best summation of how the global economy actually functioned 
just prior to the World Trade Center attacks was offered in a brilliant two-part 
series by Le Monde Diplomatique in the spring of 2000. In part, the series said: 

Indeed the engine of capitalist expansion is now oiled by the profits 
of serious crime. From time to time something is done to give the 
impression of waging war on the rapidly expanding banking and tax 
havens. If governments really wanted to, they could right this 
overnight. But though there are calls for zero tolerance of petty crime 
and unemployment, nothing is being done about the big money 
crimes. 

Financial crime is becoming less visible, periodically coming to 
light in one country or another in the guise of scandals involving 
companies, banks, political parties, leaders, cartels, mafias. This flood 
of illicit transactions — offences under national law or international 
agreements — has come to be portrayed just as accidental malfunc- 
tions of free market economics and democracy that can be put right 
by something called "good governance." But the reality is quite dif- 
ferent. It is a coherent system closely linked to the expansion of 
modern capitalism and based on an association of three partners: gov- 
ernments, transnational corporations, and mafias. Business is 
business: financial crime is first and foremost a market, thriving and 
structured, ruled by supply and demand. 

Big business complicity and political laissez faire is the only way 
that large-scale organized crime can launder and recycle the fabulous 
proceeds of its activities. And the transnationals need the support of 



78 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

governments and the neutrality of the regulatory authorities in order 
to consolidate their positions, increase their profits, withstand or 
crush the competition, pull off the "deal of the century" and finance 
their illicit operations. Politicians are directly involved, and their 
ability to intervene depends on the backing and the funding that 
keep them in power This collusion of interests is an essential part of 
the world economy, the oil that keeps the wheels of capitalism 
turning. 

Better still, under the aegis of international financial crime's num- 
ber one partner, the US, we are seeing a rationalization, or rather, 
Americanization, of corruption techniques, seeking to replace the 
somewhat archaic practices of palm-greasing and secret (or open) 
"commission" payments by lobbying, which is more effective and pre- 
sentable. It is a service industry in which the Americans have a 
considerable lead over their competitors, not only in know-how, but 
also in the vast financial and logistical resources they are able to make 
available to their multinationals; these include the secret services of 
the world's most powerful state apparatus, which, with the cold war 
over, have moved into economic warfare. 

The only objective of the anti-corruption campaigns taken up by 
international organizations (World Bank, IMF, and OECD) is the 
"good governance" of a financial crime that is now an integral part of 
market globalizations under the leadership of the American democra- 
cy, the most corrupt on the planet. 

Countries have opened their borders wider to criminal trades more 
than to any other kind. Doubtless they had little choice, since the real 
pioneers of globalization, the 1960s drugs traffickers, obviously did 
not ask anyone's permission before organizing trade in the world's 
most expensive and profitable commodity on a global scale. 3 

Banamex 

In May 2001 Citigroup paid more than $12 billion in cash to purchase Banco 
Nacional de Mexico, better known as Banamex. 4 Its owner, Roberto Hernandez, 
was widely known to be one of the largest drug money launderers in Mexico. 
Hernandez is also one of the largest landowners on the Yucatan Peninsula, home 
to the famous vacation resort of Cancun. 5 Because of the drug smuggling activity 
on Hernandez's land, the locals have come to call it "The Cocaine Peninsula." 6 

After buying Banamex, undoubtedly to gain control of its large cash flows, 
Citigroup placed Hernandez on their board of directors, right next to former CIA 
Director John Deutch and former US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. 
Hernandez is known for his political clout. Bill Clinton vacationed on his proper- 
ty in 2000. 7 Hernandez also shared a media consultant with Texas Governor 



A Criminal Meltdown 



79 



George W. Bush in 2000. 8 And the day after he was elected, Mexican President 
Vicente Fox paid a courtesy call to Hernandez, no doubt to express gratitude and 
ask for direction. 9 

So overt was Hernandez's drug activity that, when the Mexican paper Por Esto 
published a series with photographs, Hernandez lost his libel suit in a Mexican 
court. The reason: Por Esto had proved its case. Subsequently, American expatriate 
journalist Al Giordano, publisher of the wildly successful <www.narconews.com>, 
translated and expanded the Por Esto story in English. Hernandez sued again, this 
time in New York, in an attempt to quash Internet journalism by making jour- 
nalists respond in a number of countries; the suit was again thrown out after many 
American journalists responded to Giordano's plight. 

Pug Winokur and Enron 

An outstanding homegrown example of Realeconomik is the career of Herbert 
"Pug" Winokur, Harvard man. Aside from playing a major role in the looting of 
Russia, Harvard University also seems to have deep connections into the domes- 
tic economy of crime. Catherine Austin Fitts connected the dots in a 2002 article 
which told us that not only had Winokur chaired the Enron finance committee 
and escaped federal scrutiny, he was also a lead investor in, and creator of, a com- 
pany called DynCorp (now CSC-DynCorp) that has lucrative vaccine and 
biowarfare contracts. Through documentary videos, military investigations, and 
even its employees, DynCorp has been connected to a child prostitution/sex slav- 
ery ring in Bosnia. 10 So ubiquitous is DynCorp that we will see its hands all over 
the map in connection with 9/11 and the ruling of America. DynCorp is every- 
where. It manages the Congressional telephone system. Along with Lockheed- 
Martin, it does the computerized bookkeeping for a dozen federal agencies includ- 
ing the DoD and HUD, which have lost (or allowed to be stolen) trillions of 
taxpayer dollars. It also has a contract to manage the police and court systems in 
US-occupied Iraq 

Winokur's connections to Enron, DynCorp, and the Harvard Endowment 
(which, during the Clinton years, saw its assets increase from 3 to 19 billion dol- 
lars) demonstrate that quite often the key players escape mainstream scrutiny 
altogether. However, a group of diligent Harvard students did publish a series of 
investigative reports starting in October 2002 that shed unwanted light on 
Winokur's career and ultimately forced his resignation from the board of the 
Harvard Endowment. 1 1 Among other revelations were the facts that Harvard had 
made direct financial investments bailing out an ailing Harken Energy 
Corporation, then run by George W Bush, and that, through its investment arm, 
Highfields Capital, it had dumped large quantities of Enron stock just before it 
crashed: insider trading at its best. 12 

Conveniently, DynCorp's financial auditor until the company's merger with 
CSC in 2003 was Arthur Andersen, the same company that handled Enron's 



80 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

books. The new firm, CSC-DynCorp now has a sole source contract to provide 
police and court services in occupied Iraq. 13 

Europe vs RJ Reynolds 

There has never been a spy novel or a political thriller that can compare with one 
remarkable battle that broke into public view in the fall of 2002. The combatants 
are the European economy and the American economy, and the fight is over dirty 
money. 

On October 31, 2002, the European Union (EU), the official economic gov- 
ernment for almost every nation on that continent, filed a Racketeering Influenced 
and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) lawsuit against the tobacco giant RJReynolds 
for knowingly laundering billions of dollars in criminal money derived from drug 
trafficking and other criminal enterprises. According to a press release issued by the 
EU, the RICO suit was filed after the technical dismissal of an original civil suit 
without prejudice, meaning that the dismissal had nothing to do with the merits 
of the case. The move to a RICO suit, which can lead to subsequent criminal pros- 
ecutions, indicates the threat that the EU sees to its economic survival. A press 
release from the EU tells more: 

In August 2001 the EC launched a tobacco smuggling complaint with 
the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York against 
three US cigarette manufacturers — Philip Morris, RJReynolds, and 
Japan Tobacco, together with the following Member States: Italy, 
Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Belgium, The Netherlands, 
Finland, and Luxembourg. In February 2002, the US District Court 
in New York handed down a ruling which dealt separately with the 
smuggling and money laundering parts of the complaint. 14 

As critical as what the EU is alleging are the lengths to which the member 
nations have gone to in order to document RJR's criminal activity. A reading of 
the 100-plus-page complaint reveals that the intelligence and law enforcement 
agencies of the member agencies were involved in the investigation of RJR's crim- 
inal activities. The press release continued: 

The purpose of this new claim is to obtain injunctive relief to stop the 
laundering of the proceeds of illegal activities and to seek compensa- 
tion for losses sustained. "Protecting the financial interests of the 
European Community and fighting against money laundering and 
fraud remains a top priority for the European Commission," said 
Commissioner Schreyer. 15 

Not surprisingly, the suit also takes us through the Balkans, the Middle East, 
and territories where Islamic fundamentalist groups linked to Osama bin Laden 
have been very active. 16 The kind of intelligence documented in the suit could 



A Criminal Meltdown 81 

only have been gathered by national intelligence services, which gives further cred- 
ibility to the allegations of economic warfare raised in the chapter on PROMIS 
software. 

For those in pathological denial 

Now, some Americans will assert that the Bush administration is really trying to 
clean up the corporate corruption in the wake of the accounting scandals of 2002. 
They will point out that the president has appointed a White House staff mem- 
ber to oversee a crackdown on corporate corruption. They will contend that the 
SEC, under a new accounting law, is getting tough. And they will assert that the 
government itself, through the Treasury, is in ultimate control. 

For the record: Larry Thompson, the deputy attorney general charged with 
leading the Bush anticorruption task force, has himself been sued by shareholders 
of Providian Bank Corp for participating in corrupt accounting practices and 
insider trading from 1997 to 2001. He sold almost $4 million in Providian stock 
just before the company's stock crashed after book-cooking was disclosed. 17 
Harvey Pitt, the embattled SEC director and former board member of accounting 
firm Arthur Andersen, resigned his post at the SEC on November 5, 2002. 18 
There are few who want the post, which, as many press reports later noted, may 
go unoccupied for some time. 

And, after being asked by Senator Fritz Hollings to certify that the books of the 
United States government were as accurate as the government now expected cor- 
porate books to be, Budget Director Mitch Daniels refused to do it. 19 In an August 
14, 2002 statement released on his Senate website, Hollings said, "I think Mr. 
Daniels's inaction also will make it more difficult for the Securities and Exchange 
Commission to come down on bad corporations. After all, how can the SEC 
throw the book at corporations, when the Administration fails to set a good exam- 
ple with its own accounting?" 



CHAPTER 



Laying the Foundation: Destroy 
Russia, Prepare the Battlefield 

Zbigniew Brzezinski's 1997 The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its 
Geostrategic Imperatives laid a foundation for what became the 9/11 attacks. 
Some four years before the fact, the book articulated what purpose that disaster served 
in the creation and extension of an openly imperial new American order. But in 
doing so, Brzezinski gave us all a vivid glimpse of the remarkable foresight and plan- 
ning that was brought to bear upon world events by the players who participated. 

If what we find predicted in that book has been validated by events since 
September 11, 2001, we must infer that Peak Oil is no surprise to the Bush 
administration. And given the timing of the book, Brzezinski's background, and 
the patterns of strategic continuity that have dominated US foreign policy since 
the height of the Vietnam War, Peak Oil was never far from the minds of the 
Clinton administration, or the first Bush administration, or the Reagan adminis- 
tration, or the Carter administration. The Nixon administration faced the peak 
of US domestic oil production and the first massive OPEC-induced oil price 
shocks. To anyone whose head isn't totally submerged in the conventional wis- 
dom, it's always been clear that a production cut must be either artificial or 
natural. Whether or not OPEC cuts oil production today, geology will be cutting 
it tomorrow. 

When American oil production peaked in the early 1970s, there were hopes 
that oil discoveries — particularly in Central Asia — would mitigate the peak. 
Still, there was one major obstacle to US control of the Middle East: Russia. 

Brzezinski is a member of the elite that presides above the American political 
system, which is frequently and accurately described as two factions comprising a 
single (corporate) party. He is best remembered as the National Security Advisor 
to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. But his influence and power are 
better understood in light of his ongoing service as an intelligence advisor to both 
Presidents Reagan and Bush I. In 1988 he served as co-chairman of the Bush 
National Security Advisory Task Force. He is a Professor of American foreign policy 
at Johns Hopkins University. And perhaps most importantly, he's a colleague and 

82 



Laying the Foundation 83 



friend of both David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger. Brzezinski is a past mem- 
ber of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations and a co-founder 
with Rockefeller of the Trilateral Commission (Jimmy Carter is also a member of 
both CFR and the Trilateral Commission). Brzezinski also served, as recently as 
1998, as a paid consultant for BP-Amoco, one of the three largest investors in the 
Caspian basin. 1 

On December 24, 1979, the Soviet Army occupied Afghanistan and seized the 
capital, Kabul. It was the beginning of a decade-long, Vietnam-like conflict that 
debilitated the Soviet Union. Afghanistan was so much like Vietnam that it quick- 
ly developed a self-sustaining dynamic of massive heroin smuggling from a 
neighboring country, a dynamic that ran parallel to the war while remaining 
linked to it — not least by turning a percentage of the invading troops into 
addicts. In the case of Vietnam, the neighboring country was Laos, which then 
hosted the largest CIA station in history under the direction of legendary covert 
operative Ted Shackley. In Afghanistan, the neighboring country was Pakistan, 
where a massive CIA operation sprouted to support Mujahedeen freedom fighters. 

In both wars heroin became the dominant note in the theme music behind the 
action. As noted by Professor Alfred McCoy, in 1975 none of the heroin entering 
the US came from Pakistan. By 1980 some 40 percent of the heroin in the US 
came from Pakistan, which had virtually become a CIA protectorate by that time. 2 
Another striking similarity is that in both conflicts the CIA created powerful local 
warlords who were very well armed and who effectively prevented any national 
government from restoring stability. In both cases, the warlords derived their 
power from their direct involvement in the drug trade. 

In Afghanistan Brzezinski demonstrated that he and his colleagues were capa- 
ble of preparing the stage for a conflict long before the fighting — or the stakes 
— became visible to the world at large. 

Just before the Soviet invasion, a Soviet-friendly regime had taken over Kabul 
in a coup and had instituted broad social reforms. But agitation believed to be 
backed by the regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran soon led to an uprising 
that prompted the first official request for limited Soviet military assistance to 
maintain control of key facilities in Herat. 3 In July, five months before the Russian 
invasion, President Carter, at the urging of Brzezinski, signed a secret directive for 
clandestine assistance to enemies of the pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan (i.e., 
agents of our allegedly sworn enemy in Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini). 4 

This was the first indication that a major conflict was being engineered behind the 
scenes. US assistance created more battles, threatening the Kabul regime and, ulti- 
mately, threatening the Soviet troops. That was what sucked the Russians into making 
a move that the United States immediately portrayed to the world as a massive and 
unprovoked invasion. An important question, asked frequently at the time, was, 
What in the world could the Russians possibly want with Afghanistan? There were 
very few good answers. Afghanistan wasn't producing much opium in those days. 



84 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Brzezinski admitted the setup and much more in 1998 to a French interview- 
er: "We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we consciously increased the 
probability that they would... Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent 
idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap. You want me 
to regret that?" When the interviewer asked if he regretted having supported the 
Islamic fundamentalists and giving arms and advice to future terrorists, Brzezinski 
replied: "What is more important to the history of the world ... the Taliban or the 
collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of 
Central Europe and the end of the cold war?" 5 

By 1997 the Soviet Union had been dead for six years. A new world had 
emerged in which the United States alone ranked as a superpower. Yet Russia still 
remained a threat — a potential block to the complete imposition of US economic 
and military will. So, to a lesser extent, did China, which, although it had a huge 
population, was technologically and militarily no match for the United States. 
China also represented the possibility of huge profits for American business. 
Another obstacle was the American people, who, as Brzezinski would note, were 
not psychologically built for the ways in which America would have to exercise 
dominion in the absence of a fair fight. It was to these and other issues — espe- 
cially energy — that Brzezinski turned his attention in 1997 when he wrote The 
Grand Chessboard. Russia, as it turns out, is mentioned more frequently than any 
other country in the book. 6 

It was in Russia's backyard, the central Asian republics of the old Soviet Union, 
where Brzezinski saw that the move would have to be made. The history of 
mankind had always shown that controlling the heart of Eurasia was the key to 
controlling the entire globe. Though motives had changed over 20 centuries, this 
area's strategic importance remained essentially the same. Brzezinski spelled out the 
compelling issue driving American policy: 

A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's 
three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere 
glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost 
automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the Western 
Hemisphere and Oceania [Australia] geopolitically peripheral to the 
world's central continent. About 75 percent of the world's people live 
in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, 
both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 
percent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's 
known energy resources. 7 

The energy theme appeared again later. 

The world's energy consumption is bound to vastly increase over the 
next two or three decades. Estimates by the US Department of Energy 



Laying the Foundation 85 



anticipate that world demand will rise by more than 50 percent 
between 1993 and 2015, with the most significant increase in con- 
sumption occurring in the Far East. The momentum of Asia's 
economic development is already generating massive pressures for the 
exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy. 8 

With the Middle East safely but quietly included in his dissertation, Brzezinski 
again stressed the energy importance of Eurasia, particularly for the critical goal of 
diversification of energy supplies: 

Moreover, they [the Central Asian Republics] are of importance from 
the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of 
their most immediate and more powerful neighbors, namely Russia, 
Turkey, and Iran, with China also signaling an increasing political 
interest in the region. But the Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more 
important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration 
of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to 
important minerals, including gold. 9 

As for Russia, the imperative was clear: 

Understandably, the immediate task has to be to reduce the proba- 
bility of political anarchy or a reversion to a hostile dictatorship in a 
crumbling state still possessing a nuclear arsenal. But the long-range 
task remains: how to encourage Russia's democratic transformation 
and economic recovery while avoiding the reemergence of a Eurasian 
empire that could obstruct the American Geostrategic goal... 10 

But in the meantime, it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger 
[i.e., Russia] emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of 
also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and 
integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this 
book. 11 

Brzezinski gave one of several reasons why the US supported the Taliban and, 
indirectly, al Qaeda: 

In fact, an Islamic revival — already abetted from the outside not only 
by Iran but also by Saudi Arabia — is likely to become the mobiliz- 
ing impulse for the increasingly pervasive new nationalisms, 
determined to oppose any reintegration under Russian — and hence 
infidel — control. 12 

This is a clear signal and admission that the United States had fostered and 
encouraged radical Islamic fundamentalist movements as a means to an end in 
Central Asia. Their usefulness to that end, as we shall see in subsequent chapters, 
certainly did not end with the fall of the Soviet Union. 



86 



CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Before going to the next Brzezinski quotation, consider the following ironic 
examples of how the United States created hatred and violence in Afghanistan. 
The first example concerns the actions of the US Agency for International 
Development (USAID), long known to be a progeny of the Central Intelligence 
Agency. I am indebted to the incredible work of researcher Paul Thompson for 
finding these illustrative and darkly humorous anecdotes. His entire timeline can 
be found at <www.cooperativeresearch.org>. 

1984-1994: The US, through USAID and the University of 
Nebraska, spends millions of dollars developing and printing text- 
books for Afghan schoolchildren. The textbooks are filled with violent 
images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur 
resistance to the Soviet occupation. For instance, children are taught 
to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles, and land mines. In 
the absence of any alternative, millions of these textbooks continue to 
be used long after 1994, and the Taliban were still using them in 
2001. In 2002, the US has started making less violent versions of the 
same books, which Bush touts will have 'respect for human dignity, 
instead of indoctrinating students with fanaticism and bigotry.' Bush 
fails to mention who created those earlier books. 13 [Washington Post, 
3/23/02, CBC, 5/6/02] 

Just three years later Unocal, then fiercely motivated and fiercely frustrated by 
the Taliban in its efforts to build a trans-Afghani pipeline, hired the University of 
Nebraska to train 400 Afghani teachers, electricians, carpenters, and pipe fitters in 
anticipation of using them for their pipeline. They had 150 students attending 
classes in anticipation of successful negotiations. 14 

Brzezinski's maps 

No doubt, Brzezinski had energy issues very much on his mind. He noted 
throughout the book that the region was becoming increasingly prone to violence. 
What he did not admit was that much of the violence was being initiated by US 
proxies. He placed two key maps in his book that would be of evidentiary value in 
the inconceivable scenario that the true 9/11 war-makers were ever brought to 
trial. One he labeled "The Global Zone of Percolating Violence." 15 

The second was a map labeled "The Eurasian Balkans" on which he placed a 
large circle indicating where he felt the next global conflict would emerge. 16 

Given that these maps were drawn and published a full four years before the 
first plane hit the World Trade Center, they would fall into a category of evidence 
I learned about at LAPD. We called them "clues." 

As it turns out, The Grand Chessboard was a study prepared for the Council on 
Foreign Relations (CFR), also founded by the Rockefellers. 17 



Laying the Foundation 87 




Eliminating the competition 

Two very important things happened immediately after the collapse of the Soviet 
Union in December 1991. The United States undertook a massive effort to help 
the FSU (Former Soviet Union), and in particular Russia, make a "successful 



88 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

transition" to capitalism, and the major oil companies stepped up their ongoing, 
oft-frustrated post-perestroika efforts to explore and establish joint ventures in the 
newly independent and oil-rich Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, 
Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Oil companies frequently had a number of CIA 
covert operatives on their payrolls posing as geologists and oil experts. 18 

As it turns out, both efforts were intended to remove large amounts of wealth 
from the region. Both may have had the equally important objective of preparing 
the way for the unopposed massive US military deployments in Central Asia that 
began in October of 2001 after the World Trade Center attacks. 

Though the seeds had been planted by the outgoing first Bush administration, 
the US assistance program to facilitate Russia's transition to capitalism took off 
under the new Clinton administration in 1993. A task force headed by Vice 
President Al Gore, Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, Deputy Secretary of 
State Strobe Talbot 19 and involving exclusive US Treasury contracts with Goldman 
Sachs, the Harvard Institute for International Development, the IMF, and the 
World Bank worked in partnership with the government of Boris Yeltsin to remake 
the Russian economy. What happened was that Russia, in the words of Yeltsin 
himself, became a "mafiocracy" and was looted of more than $500 billion in assets; 
its economy was ruined, its currency destroyed, its population rendered desperate, 
and its ability to support a world-class military establishment smashed. 

Journalist Anne Williamson was for many years a leading expert on Russian 
and Soviet affairs, writing for, among others, the Wall Street Journal, the New York 
Times, Mother Jones, and SPY. She lived in Russia, spoke the language, and saw 
first-hand what was done to Russia in the 1990s. In 1999 she completed a book 
on the subject, Contagion: The Betrayal of Liberty, Russia, and the United States in 
the 1990s, which despite a signed publishing contract has never been published, 
like so many other completed manuscripts that might have been vital to the 
world's understanding. According to Williamson, one publisher simply refused to 
read her first draft (October 1997), in which she explained the causes and mech- 
anisms of the impending collapse of the Russian bond market that occurred in 
August 1998. 

But Williamson did present her knowledge of what had happened in Russia to 
Congress in 1999, and that record is available. She pulled no punches in describ- 
ing the rape of a country and of a people who had already been victimized by seven 
decades of Soviet communism: 

And there is no mistake as to who the victims are, i.e., Western, prin- 
cipally US, taxpayers and Russian citizens whose national legacy was 
stolen only to be squandered and/or invested in Western real estate 
and equities markets. 

Western assistance, IMF lending, and the targeted division of 
national assets are what provided Boris Yeltsin the initial wherewithal to 



Laying the Foundation 89 



purchase his constituency of ex-Komsomol [Communist Youth League] 
bank chiefs, who were given the freedom and the mechanisms to plun- 
der their own country in tandem with a resurgent and more 
economically competent criminal class. The new elite learned every- 
thing about the confiscation of wealth, but nothing about its creation. 20 

Brzezinski had made it a priority to identify the motivating factors that drove 
the political elites in a country that needed to be managed. What Williamson 
described is the creation and installation of a whole new set of elites, the oligarchs, 

whose motives — personal enrichment at any cost were already known. The 

Empire loved the oligarchs because they were simple and could be easily controlled 
with money. 

Williamson described two crucial mistakes made by the US fiscal experts who 
had exclusive contracts to manage the transition. First, they ignored the concept 
of private property (there had been none under Communism or under the Tsarist 
regimes). This gave the people no inherent rights to enormous physical equities 
such as real estate, manufacturing plants, oil refineries, mineral rights. Their only 
claim to ownership lay in the notion of post-Soviet assets as an abstract commu- 
nal holding of "the Russian people." The West's experts found this communal 
holding established by the Soviet Constitution inconvenient. In the privatization 
program Harvard University and World Bank operatives devised and US taxpay- 
ers unknowingly financed, those constitutionally guaranteed communal 
ownership rights were transferred to the state, and only then parceled out to elect- 
ed individuals in rigged auctions. Second, the good guys from the West turned 
loose monopoly markets, which caused prices to skyrocket. What little money 
individual Russians possessed was transferred quickly into the hands of the corrupt 
oligarchs — the "mafiya" with whom Boris Yeltsin had made his pact. 21 

Once all the assets had been transferred to the oligarchs, who were becoming 
fabulously wealthy, it was a simple matter for them to liquidate those assets by sell- 
ing them to the US and other Western countries, and then laundering their money 
through US financial institutions such as the Bank of New York. 22 The money 
laundering and transfer of wealth made more than the Russian oligarchs rich. 
Billions of dollars accrued to Bank of New York executives and stockholders in 
1999. 23 And during the years of the Clinton administration, as Al Gore worked in 
exclusive partnership with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin, 
the Harvard Endowment's value rose from 3 to 1 9-plus billion dollars. 24 

Compounding the pillage, a number of investment schemes sponsored by the 
Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Overseas Private Investment 
Corporation (OPIC), and a number of congressionally mandated "enterprise funds" 
were designed for individuals, Russian corporations, and banks. In essence, these ini- 
tiatives wound up being huge money laundries. The domestic bond market's highly 
unjustified returns, paid with IMF loans, attracted many eager investors, and soon 
developed into a classic pyramid scheme. As quickly as the IMF, the World Bank, 



90 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

and other financial entities lent the money to Russia to realize mind-boggling returns 
for favored players, the money was taken right back out of Russia. Those huge sums, 
initially provided by taxpayers, returned to Wall Street, US banks, and Harvard. 25 

Russia was literally a free lunch for American institutions and non-profits. 
Williamson observed: 

Even the Ford Foundation's Moscow office sponsored its own internal 
Russian bond shop for which the unthinking Russian managers once 
asked this reporter to drum up US investors. 26 

It's interesting to note that the Ford Foundation is actively involved in the 
funding of "progressive" American media outlets, including Pacifica Radio, FAIR, 
Progressive Magazine, and is indirectly involved in several other well-known pro- 
gressive media oracles and pundits. 27 At the same time, the Ford Foundation has 
been linked to the secret society Skull and Bones (through the late McGeorge 
Bundy), the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the 
CIA. 28 Both George W. Bush and John Kerry are members of that secret society. 

Remarkably, all that heavy Western investment in the Russian bond market was 
executed largely in defiance of Russian Federation legislation that limited foreign 
participation in that market. The Clinton administration and Harvard operatives 
looked the other way as major Clinton campaign donors employed corrupt 
Russian officials and financial notables to purchase bonds beyond the legal limits 
on foreign participation set by the Russian government. Williamson noted in her 
testimony, "The bread and butter of all equity markets are bonds. Wall Street 
wanted a debt market. You [USAID] build it and we'll come, they said." 

Williamson's unpublished manuscript details how those firms that got in on the 
ground floor, such as Goldman Sachs, were able to work from the inside through 
alliances with personnel from Harvard's Russia Project. 29 Bonds represent debt. As 
with any debt, if it can't be paid, then the collateral used to secure it is forfeited. 
In this case, throughout the 1990s, what was forfeited was Russia's ability to func- 
tion as a nation, to feed its people, and especially to support its military. 

In the end, literally starved for cash, Russia sold much of its military equipment 
onto the black market. Some of it wound up in the hands of terrorist organizations 
from Bosnia to Chechnya and Russia's southern frontiers. 30 Again, when the time 
came for the US Empire to militarily occupy Central Asia and surround the oil fields 
of the Middle East, Russia had grave economic and military problems to deal with. 

In describing how one particular looting scheme operated, Williamson testified: 

The CIA has determined that through Nordex, FPI [the International 
Foundation for Privatization and Private Investment] seized the 
export earnings from Russia's natural resource companies — oil, gas, 
platinum, gold, diamonds — and from industrial firms exporting 
items such as steel and aluminum, and then stashed the hefty profits 



Laying the Foundation 91 



in Western bank accounts. And only now, eight years almost to the 
day later, do US taxpayers learn that the 'eager, young reformers' to 
whom their resources were sent for the purpose of building a new 
Russia were in league from day one with the exhausted Soviet nomen- 
klatura in a scheme to loot Russia's wealth and park it in the West... 31 
Directors stashed profits abroad, withheld employees' wages, and 
after cash famine set in, used those wages, confiscated profits and state 
subsidies to 'buy' the workers' shares from them. The really good stuff 
— oil companies, metals plants, telecoms — was distributed to essen- 
tially seven individuals, 'the oligarchs,' on insider auctions whose 
results were agreed beforehand. Once effective control was estab- 
lished, directors — uncertain themselves of the durability of their 
claim to the newly acquired property — chose to asset strip with 
impunity instead of developing their new holdings. 

Is all of this starting to sound a bit like Enron? Like WorldCom? Tyco? 
Halliburton? Like any of about 20 major US companies I could name? It is per- 
haps not by coincidence that we see some familiar names cropping up in the 
orchestration of this campaign to loot Russia that continued across two different 
presidential administrations. The US secretary of state who began the dialogues on 
privatization as well as the dismantling of Russia's nuclear weapons was James A. 
Baker. The James Baker Institute was the co-sponsor of the CFR report on energy 
in 2001, and James Baker was, in the words of one oil industry lawyer, "all over" 
the deals to get the major oil companies into Central Asia. The first official US 
envoy sent to aid Russia in its transition was our current Deputy Secretary of State, 
Richard Armitage. 

Eventually, of course, the Russian economy collapsed so badly that it was nec- 
essary to secure an IMF bailout. That's the kiss of death for any country. Americans 
paid for that. Then in 1998 the Russian ruble inevitably collapsed because the 
debt couldn't be paid, and the people started starving in earnest. Consider these 
passages from a congressional investigation, the aforementioned Cox Report: 

The culmination of the Clinton administration's fatally flawed macro- 
economic policy for Russia occurred in August 1998, when Russia's 
default on its debts and devaluation of the ruble led to the nation's 
total economic collapse. By all measurements, the disaster was worse 
than America's crash of 1929. 

The disaster that began on August 17, 1998, spread immediately 
throughout Russia. Millions of ordinary men and women who had 
deposited their money in Russian banks lost everything. ATM and 
debit cards ceased to work. Dozens of banks became insolvent and 
disappeared. Angry depositors besieged Russian banks, only to learn 
they had been wiped out. 



92 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Millions of senior citizens, whose meager pension income had 
been suspended for months, were cut off completely. When the dust 
finally settled in March 1999, the ruble — and with it, every Russian's 
life savings — had lost fully 75 percent of its value. 

The devastation of Russia's economy was worse than what America 
experienced in the Great Depression. By 1932, the US gross national 
product had been cut by almost one-third. But within just six months 
of the 1998 crash, Russia's economy, measured in dollars, had fallen 
by more than two-thirds. From $422 billion in 1997 [the year when 
The Grand Chessboard was published], Russia's gross domestic product 
fell to only $132 billion by the end of 1998. 

At the end of 1929, following America's disastrous stock market 
crash, unemployment in the United States reached 1.5 million, repre- 
senting 1.2 percent of the total population. The 1998 collapse of the 
Russian economy was far worse: 1 1.3 million Russians were jobless at 
the end of 1998 — 7.7 percent of the nation's total population. 

In the crash of 1929, stock prices fell 17 percent by year end — 
and 90 percent by the depth of the Great Depression four years later. 
By contrast, the Russian stock market lost 90 percent of its value in 
1998 alone. 

"Most fundamentally," said Sergei Markov, an analyst at the 
Institute of Political Studies, "it is a crisis of the real economy — 
Russia doesn't work'" 32 

How much capital was looted out of Russia? Five hundred billion dollars, 
according to Congress. 33 And that $500 billion was not stockholder equity, a paper 
loss from some mutual fund. It was cash. 

This congressional investigative report into what had happened in Russia came 
from the House Policy Committee under chairman Chris Cox (R-CA), a fierce 
Clinton opponent and supporter of the failed impeachment effort. It told some 
hard truths, but accomplished very little. Cox made the mistake of believing that 
what he had revealed — e.g., that the Clinton administration and Al Gore had 
openly gotten involved with criminals, and likely engaged in criminal behavior 
themselves — was something that would hurt his political opponents. Of course, 
it did not. What Cox failed to understand was that he was exposing an effort that 
was above partisan politics — one that represented the moneyed interests that 
fund and control both parties — an effort that was therefore protected. On the 
other hand, James Leach, Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and 
Financial Services, understood this reality perfectly. Once "instructed," Leach 
immediately buried the findings from his own committee's 1999 hearings into 
Russian money laundering. 

Cox would not be the first experienced member of Congress to suffer for his 
own naivete. As we will see, another Republican Congressman would make the 



Laying the Foundation 93 



same false assumption about the Clinton administration's activities, this time with 
respect to the Taliban. 

Anne Williamson succinctly summed up what had been done to the people of 
Russia. She pointed out, "The Soviet Union was economically self-sufficient 
except for bananas, coffee, and coconuts." 34 By the dawning of the new century, 
except for small parts of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and other cities where the oli- 
garchs spent their money, it was as badly ruined as it had been at the worst part of 
World War II. It was a basket case that was self-sufficient in nothing except for its 
own oil that, incidentally, had already passed the peak of production. 

In Moscow in March 2001, attending an international economic conference, I 
developed a liking for the Russian people, their hospitality, their endurance, and 
their sense of humor. I was saddened to hear Russian writers and business people 
in Moscow tell me that the population of Russia had shrunk from an estimated 
high of around 160 million people in 1991 to 145 million people in a decade; that 
the life expectancy of a male had dropped in 2000 to around 48 years; that the 
population was expected to drop to 130 million by 2030; and that, in the nearby 
Republic of Moldova, pieces of human cadavers were being sold in stores as meat. 
It was nothing, the Russian people joked. They recounted stories about the 
German siege of Leningrad, when people starved by the thousands every day. 
When times were at their very grimmest the people ate what they called "chick- 
en." Nobody asked further than that, and I was jokingly told to avoid ordering 
chicken in any Russian restaurant outside the capital. 

Moscow was a different story for an American male with a few hundred-dollar 
bills. I was amazed at the childless Americans I saw there adopting beautiful 
Russian children from families who could not feed them — another form of 
wealth transfer. I was stunned by the world-class opulence along Tverskaya, the 
street running out of Red Square; the casinos, the four-star hotels. An American 
was instantly recognizable on any street at any time. There was never any need to 
call a taxi. All one had to do was to step out from the curb and ever so slightly 
extend one's hand. In an instant two, three, and sometimes four private vehicles 
— in various states of repair — would pull to the curb. The owners would drive 
you anywhere, for any length of time, forgetting any other obligation they had, if 
you were willing to part with some rubles — or especially some US dollars. 

Girls as young as 14 were available for sex on the same terms. Many American 
men went there for just that reason. One American businessman of Russian descent 
told me, "Prostitution is legal here, and the age of consent is 16. If a policeman 
catches you with a 14-year-old, all you have to say is that she looked 16." 

Indeed, in Russia in 2001, the year of the World Trade Center attacks, if you 
were an American with hundred-dollar bills, you were God. And that is just the 
way the Empire wanted it. 

Special thanks are due to Anne Williamson, who provided most of the research for 
the Cox Committee's report and received so little acknowledgment for it. 



CHAPTER 



Caspian Corruption: 



Enron, the Binladin Group, al Qaeda, oil companies, 
Dick Cheney, and John Ashcroft 

Special acknowledgement is due to Paul Thompson and the Center for 
Cooperative Research (<www.cooperativeresearch.org>). Building on work 
pioneered by From the Wilderness, this group of researchers has compiled a time- 
line going back 20 years that undermines the credibility of the US government's 
position on the events of September 11, 2001. In this chapter, indented para- 
graphs beginning with a bold-faced date are quoted from that timeline, listing 
their references. The resulting view of the history of big oil's involvement in the 
Caspian Basin and Central Asia reveals more than the major media and the gov- 
ernment would like you to know. 

1991: Future National Security Advisor Rice joins Chevron's 
board of directors, and works with Chevron until being picked as 
Bush's national security advisor in 2001. Chevron even names an oil 
tanker after her. She is reportedly hired for her expertise in Central 
Asia, and much of her job time is spent arranging oil deals in the 
Central Asian region. Chevron also has massive investments there, 
which grow through the 1990s. [Salon, 11/19/01] Other research 
indicates that Rice's specialty was Kazakhstan. 1 

1991-1997: The Soviet Union collapses in 1991, creating many 
new nations in Central Asia. Major US oil companies, including 
ExxonMobil, Texaco, Unocal, BP Amoco, Shell, and Enron, directly 
invest billions in these Central Asian nations, bribing heads of state 
to secure equity rights in the huge oil reserves in these regions. The 
oil companies commit to future direct investments in Kazakhstan of 
$35 billion. But these companies face the problem of having to pay 
exorbitant prices to Russia for the use of Russian pipelines to get the 
oil out. These oil [and gas] fields have an estimated [in the early years 
of the decade] $6 trillion potential value. US companies own 



Caspian Corruption 



95 



approximately 75 percent of the rights. [New Yorker, 7/9/01, Asia 
Times, 1/26/02] 

November 1993: The Indian government gives approval for Enron's 
Dabhol power plant, located near Bombay on the west coast of India. 
Enron has invested $3 billion, the largest single foreign investment in 
India's history. Enron owns 65 percent of Dabhol. This liquefied natural 
gas powered plant is supposed to provide one-fifth of India's energy needs 
by 1997. [Asia Times, 1/81/01, Indian Express, 2/27 700] 

An initial Enron plan to secure natural gas from Qatar 2 fell apart in 1998, 
leaving Dabhol with only one hope, a gas pipeline across Afghanistan and 
Pakistan from Turkmenistan. 3 Earlier plans to secure natural gas supplies from 
Uzbekistan — which would have also required a trans-Afghan pipeline — were 
also failing as a result of Uzbekistan's concerns about the Taliban and failure to 
produce sufficient quantities of gas (see below). 

October 21, 1995: Unocal signs a contract with Turkmenistan to 
export $8 billion worth of natural gas through a $3 billion pipeline 
which would go from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. 
Political considerations and pressures allow Unocal to win out over a 
more experienced Argentine company [Bridas]. Henry Kissinger, a 
Unocal consultant, calls it "the triumph of hope over experience." 4 
[Washington Post, 10/5/98] 
[The Argentine company Bridas became uncompetitive after the implosion of 
the Argentine economy in December 2001. Was it coincidental?] 

July 8, 1996: The US government agrees to give $400 million to 
help Enron and an Uzbek state company develop natural gas fields in 
the Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan. [Oil and Gas Journal, 7/8/96] 
September 27, 1996: The Taliban conquer Kabul [AP, 8/19/02] 
and establish control over much of Afghanistan. Unocal is hopeful 
that the Taliban will stabilize Afghanistan, and allow their pipeline 
plans to go forward. In fact, "preliminary agreement [on the pipeline] 
was reached between [the Taliban and Unocal] long before the fall of 
Kabul." 

October 11, 1996: The Telegraph has an interesting article about 
pipeline politics in Afghanistan. Some quotations: "Behind the tribal 
clashes that have scarred Afghanistan lies one of the great prizes of the 
21st century, the fabulous energy reserves of Central Asia." '"The 
deposits are huge,' said a diplomat from the region. 'Kazakhstan alone 
may have more oil than Saudi Arabia. [Again, note that this is before 
any extensive drilling took place] . Turkmenistan is already known to 
have the fifth-largest gas reserves in the world.'" "Oil industry insid- 
ers say the dream of securing a pipeline across Afghanistan is the main 
reason why Pakistan, a close political ally of Americans, has been so 



96 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

supportive of the Taliban, and why America has quietly acquiesced 
in its conquest of Afghanistan." [Telegraph, 10/11/96] 

By 2001 it was apparent that the results of drilling were lowering expectations. 
In December 2001 Business Week reported that the Caspian basin "holds an esti- 
mated 110 billion barrels of oil. Indeed, the Caspian's reserves rival those of Iraq, 
whose deposits of 113 billion barrels rank second in the world only to OPEC 
leader Saudi Arabia's [proven] 262 billion barrels." 5 Contrast that with the state- 
ment of oil expert Colin Campbell when I interviewed him in October 2002 that 
"reserves are now quoted at 9-13 Gb [billion barrels]. BP-Statoil has pulled out. 
Caspian production won't make any material difference to world supply. There is, 
however, a lot of gas in the vicinity." Indeed, the natural gas reserves in 
Turkmenistan have been proven to be as large as predicted. For this reason, the 
natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan will probably be the first — 
and maybe the only — trans-Afghanistan pipeline ever built. However, uncon- 
trolled guerilla resistance may prevent even that from being successful. 

Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard was published in 1997, when US relations 
with the Taliban were falling apart and al Qaeda terror activity was increasing. As 
many sources have told me, some of the first dry holes were being reported in the 
Tengiz fields and around what was hoped would be the larger Kashagan field in 
mid to late 1997. Although the degree to which estimates of Caspian and Central 
Asian reserves would have to be revised downward was not yet appreciated, every 
time the Caspian reserves got smaller, the importance of the reserves in Saudi 
Arabia and Iraq increased. 

Officially, hope for a settlement with the Taliban that would have allowed 
pipeline projects to proceed continued almost up until the moment the first plane 
hit the World Trade Center. Yet, by September 2001 the majors had accumulated 
data showing that the Caspian Basin held far less oil than was originally thought. 
Had the geostrategic role of the Taliban thus been transformed from pipeline 
police into a much-needed enemy that would justify US military occupation in the 
region? The fact that the US had prepared invasion plans for Afghanistan while the 
talks continued to produce predictable and negative results suggests this. 

It would be a mistake to believe that Brzezinski's book was motivated by a hope 
for reconciliation with the Taliban alone. In fact, a map he included in the book (see 
Chapter 6) indicating where the next conflict was likely to occur suggests otherwise. 

US military deployments in 2001 and 2002 served the twofold purpose of 
blocking Russian moves into the region (protecting diversification of US supplies) 
and laying essential groundwork for the invasion and occupation of the Middle 
East as the US effectively surrounded it under the pretext of combating terrorism. 

The Taliban were watching with oil reserves 

As the Caspian and Central Asian reserve estimates grew smaller with each new 
well, both the proximity and severity of Peak Oil increased. An urgent question is 



Caspian Corruption 



97 



whether or not there was a correlation between decreasing reserve estimates from 
the Caspian and increased terror activity from al Qaeda. There is reason to suspect 
such a linkage. It was, after all, al Qaeda that satisfied Brzezinski's stated require- 
ment of a "direct external threat" that would trigger the support of the American 
people for an "imperial mobilization." 

December 4, 1997: Representatives of the Taliban are invited 
guests to the Texas headquarters of Unocal to negotiate their support 
for the pipeline. Future President Bush Jr. is Governor of Texas at the 
time. The Taliban appear to agree to a $2 billion pipeline deal, but the 
Taliban will only do the deal if the US officially recognizes the Taliban 
regime... [BBC, 12/4/97; Telegraph, 12/14/97] 

February 12, 1998: Unocal Vice President John J. Maresca — 
later to become a special ambassador to Afghanistan — testifies before 
the House of Representatives that until a single, unified, friendly gov- 
ernment is in place in Afghanistan the trans-Afghan pipeline needed 

to monetize the oil [and gas] will not be built [House 

International Relations Committee testimony, 2/12/98] 

December 5, 1998: In the wake of the al-Qaeda bombings on the 
US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the US gives up on putting a 
pipeline through Afghanistan. Unocal announces they are withdraw- 
ing from the CentGas pipeline consortium, and are closing three of 
their four offices in Central Asia. Worries that Clinton will lose sup- 
port among women voters for upholding the Taliban also plays a role 
in the cancellation. [New York Times, 12/5/98] 

Late 1998: During the investigation of the 1998 embassy bomb- 
ings, FBI counter-terrorism expert John O'Neill finds a memo by 
al-Qaeda leader Mohammed Atef on a computer. The memo shows 
that bin Laden's group has a keen interest in and detailed knowledge 
of negotiations between the Taliban and the US over an oil and gas 
pipeline through Afghanistan. Atef's own analysis suggests that the 
Taliban are not sincere in wanting a pipeline, but are dragging out 
pipeline negotiations to keep Western powers at bay. [Salon, 6/5/02] 
The Atef memo, discovered by O'Neill (who later resigned over continued 
interference with his investigations, only to perish in the attacks of 9/11 as the 
World Trade Center's chief of security) is particularly important. French authors 
Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, in their 2002 book Forbidden Truth, 
described the seven-page memo: 

Atef explains that the United States wants 'to take control of any 
region which has large quantities of oil reserves,' and 'the American 
government is keen on laying the oil and gas pipelines from 
Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan.' Atef concludes that 



98 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

al Qaeda's duty toward the movement [Taliban] is to stand behind it, 
support it materially and morally, especially because its regional and 
international enemies are working night and day to put an end to it 
and make it fail. 

It seems clear the military chief didn't expect the pipeline negotia- 
tions to bear fruit. Referring to the Pakistani government as 
'non-believers,' and noting that the pipeline 'will be under American 
control . . . and it also goes through the territories of Pakistan which are 
allied to America,' Atef implies that the Taliban has no intention of 
ultimately cooperating with the project, but is trying to string along 
the Americans and Pakistanis to win some breathing space for its 
unpopular government. 6 

Who was stringing along whom? Oil industry sources who worked in the 
region, interviewed for this book, stated emphatically that Russian intelligence 
sources knew that Caspian drilling was producing disappointing results almost in 
real time. Obviously the oil companies doing the drilling knew it. However, the 
consensus was that rather than look at the long-term implications vis-a-vis Peak 
Oil, the Russians opted instead to focus only on the fact that Russian oil had thus 
become more important, while American planners simply asked, Well, where do we 
go to get what we need? 

July 4, 1999: With ... a pipeline deal with the Taliban looking 
increasingly unlikely, the US government finally issues an executive 
order prohibiting commercial transactions with the Taliban. 
[Executive Order, 7/4/99] 

May 2001: Vice President Cheney's national energy plan is pub- 
licly released. There are several interesting points, little noticed at the 
time. It suggests that the US cannot depend exclusively on tradition- 
al sources of supply to provide the growing amount of oil that it 
needs. It will also have to obtain substantial supplies from new 
sources, such as the Caspian states, Russia, and Africa. It also notes that 
the US cannot rely on market forces alone to gain access to these added 
supplies, but will also require a significant effort on the part of government 
officials to overcome foreign resistance to the outward reach of American 
energy companies. [Emphasis added. Japan Today, 4/30/02] 

May 23, 2001: Zalmay Khalilzad is appointed to a position on the 
National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and 
Senior Director for Gulf, Southwest Asia ,and Other Regional Issues. 
Khalilzad is a former official in the Reagan and Bush Sr. administra- 
tions. During the Clinton years, he worked for Unocal. [Independent; 
1/10/02; State Department profile, 2001] [Note: Khalilzad is today 
the US proconsul in Afghanistan, but he also played a major US role 
in the US strategy towards Iraq.] [6a] 



Caspian Corruption 



99 



Mid-July, 2001: John O'Neill, FBI counter-terrorism expert, pri- 
vately discusses White House obstruction in his bin Laden 
investigation. O'Neill says, "The main obstacles to investigate Islamic 
terrorism were US oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi 
Arabia in it." He also states, "All the answers, everything needed to 
dismantle Osama bin Laden's organization, can be found in Saudi 
Arabia." He also believes the White House is obstructing his investi- 
gation of bin Laden because they are still keeping the idea of a 
pipeline deal with the Taliban open. [CNN, 1/8/02; CNN, 1/9/02; 
Irish Times, 11/19/01; the book Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth, 
released 11/11/01] 

Posturing to control energy 

If it was clear by this time — especially in light of the 1998 Atef memo — that al 
Qaeda and the Taliban were never going to facilitate pipelines, why then would 
the US government have an interest in preventing the dismantling of al Qaeda and 
the destruction of Osama bin Laden? Only one explanation suffices: Bin Laden, al 
Qaeda, and the Taliban were being preserved — for the time being — to serve 
another purpose. 

August 2, 2001: Christina Rocca, the Director of Asian Affairs at 
the State Department, secretly meets the Taliban ambassador in 
Islamabad, apparently in a last ditch attempt to secure a pipeline deal. 
Rocca was previously in charge of contacts with Islamic guerrilla 
groups at the CIA, and oversaw the delivery of Stinger missiles to 
Afghan Mujahedeen in the 1980s. [Irish Times; 11/19/01; Salon, 
2/8/02; the book Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth, released 11/11/01] 
Sept. 11, 2001: The World Trade Center and Pentagon are 
attacked. 

October 9, 2001: US Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain has a 
meeting with the Pakistani oil minister. She is briefed on the gas 
pipeline project from Turkmenistan, across Afghanistan, to Pakistan, 
which appears to be revived "in view of recent geopolitical develop- 
ments." [Frontier Post, 10/10/01] 

December 22, 2001: Prime Minister Hamid Karzai takes power in 
Afghanistan. It had been revealed a few weeks earlier that he had been 
a paid consultant for Unocal, as well as deputy foreign minister for the 
Taliban for a time. [Le Monde, 12/13/01; CNN, 11/22/01] 

February 9, 2002: Pakistani President Musharraf and Afghan 
leader Hamid Karzai announce their agreement to "cooperate in all 
spheres of activity" including the proposed Central Asian pipeline, 
which they consider to be "in the interest of both countries." [Irish 
Times, 2/9/02] 



lOO CROSSING THE RUBICON 



February 14, 2002: The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv astutely notes [in 
a column by Uri Averny]: "If one looks at the map of the big American 
bases created [in the Afghan war] , one is struck by the fact that they are 
completely identical to the route of the projected oil pipeline to the 
Indian Ocean." The same article also states, "Osama bin Laden did not 
comprehend that his actions serve American interests .... If I were a 
believer in conspiracy theory, I would think that bin Laden is an 
American agent. Not being one I can only wonder at the coinci- 
dence." [Chicago Tribune, 3/18/02] 

May 30, 2002: Afghanistan's interim leader, Hamid Karzai, 
Turkmenistan's President Niyazov, and Pakistani President Musharraf 
meet in Islamabad and sign a memorandum of understanding on 
the trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline project. [Alexander's Gas and Oil 
Connections, 6/8/02; Dawn, 5/31/02] 

October 18, 2002: "The massive mothballed Dabhol power proj- 
ect that bankrupt US energy company Enron Corp. built in western 
India could be running within a year, with a long-standing dispute 
over power charges close to being renegotiated, a government official 
said." Dabhol is India's largest ever, foreign investment project. 
Despite reorganizing from a bankruptcy, Enron still holds a control- 
ling 65 percent stake in the Dabhol Power Co., while General Electric 
Co. and Bechtel Corp. hold 10 percent each. The Maharastra State 
Electricity Board holds the remaining 15 percent. [AP, 10/18/02] 

Before leaving this section it is important to note that Enron's Dabhol power 
plant was deemed so important both to Enron and to US economic and political 
interests that the National Security Council actually convened a Dabhol working 
group in the summer of 2001. E-mails obtained by both the Washington Post and 
the New York Daily News confirmed that the NSC had prepared talking points for 
and briefed Vice President Cheney and President Bush on Enron's difficulties with 
the Indian government as it attempted to sell its interest in the power plant for 
$2.3 billion and get its hands on payments which the Indian government felt it 
was not obligated to pay. 7 The stories confirm that Cheney did speak to an Indian 
official on Enron's behalf, but indicate that a subsequently planned discussion by 
President Bush did not take place because Enron's financial collapse had become 
front-page news. 8 

The fact that Enron is still alive and still retains control of the project appears 
to be a great deception — especially insofar as Enron's stockholders and the 
American people are concerned. 

The deal with Iraq 

By the time the United States publicly turned its gaze on Iraq, it was clear that the 
Caspian Basin and Central Asian oil prospects had become a serious disappointment. 



Caspian Corruption 101 



What were once touted as oil reserves possibly as big as Saudi Arabia's, then possibly 
as big as Iraq's lesser but still massive reserves, had become, according to the New 
York Times, insignificant in their potential for ameliorating the coming crisis: 

The State Department is exploring the potential for post-Taliban 
energy projects in the region, which has more than 6 per cent of the 
world's proven oil reserves .... 9 

Iraq had 1 1 percent of the world's oil reserves; many of the wells were already 
drilled, there was infrastructure (albeit shabby after 12 years of sanctions) in place, 
and there was less need to invest in new pipelines or to wait for them to be built 
over long distances. It is inconceivable that the NEPDG did not know that 
Caspian reserves were inconsequential, and that this had somehow not been dis- 
cussed inside the Task Force. 

What also makes Iraq so spectacularly different from Central Asia is the 
degree to which nations that had been key US allies in the early war against ter- 
ror had strategically invested in Iraq; such investments simply didn't exist in 
Central Asia. The US made it clear that the Iraq investments of these countries 
(especially France and Russia) might be forfeited in retaliation for their opposi- 
tion to the war. In fact, during the most dramatic stages of US negotiations with 
the UN over the Iraqi invasion, the US, speaking through its puppet organiza- 
tion the Iraqi National Congress, made it clear that, absent full cooperation — 
nations with vested interests in Iraq might lose out completely after the US took 
control. 10 That position has been reaffirmed and even strengthened several times 
since. 

In retrospect, the revelations in 2003-2004 that George W. Bush was fixated 
on an Iraqi invasion while the WTC rubble was still smoldering are consistent 
with all of this. Revelations that the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), 
contributor of so many Bush administration officeholders, planned for an Iraqi 
occupation as far back as September of 2000 coincide with the Caspian basin 
drilling results. The PNAC report mentioned Iraq in 24 places and stated: 

Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more per- 
manent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict 
with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a sub- 
stantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of 
the regime of Saddam Hussein. 11 

Russia acted as a US partner in the post-9/1 1 world and derived some benefit 
from that role — but only until Iraq took center stage. Russian companies had 
already been heavily partnered with Western interests in many early explorations 
and pipeline contracts running from the Caspian basin, such as the Caspian 
Pipeline Consortium's (CPC) Novorossiysk pipeline, which opened in November, 
2001. 12 A larger project, known as the Silk Road Energy Strategy, looked forward 



102 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



to the development of pipelines eastward, and Russia remained a key player in 
those projects. Russia benefited from post-9/11 US military operations in the 
region, that significantly weakened Islamic fundamentalist movements along its 
southern border, freeing it to address the oil and pipeline interests in Chechnya 
that were vital to ensuring the short-term stability of Russian exports — a neces- 
sary ingredient for a Russian economic recovery. 

Iraq was different. It was a strategic interest, one that could make or break any 
economy. It seems clear that the regional issues of Central Asian and Caspian par- 
ticipation were tactical concessions that allowed the US to gain the strategic 
military position in the Middle East. In September 2002 the Washington Post 
reported that Russia, France, China, Italy, Spain, India, Algeria, the Netherlands, 
and Britain had massive investments all centered around the future development 
or refurbishing of Iraqi oilfields. 13 Russia, having already passed its peak of pro- 
duction and owed billions of dollars by the Iraqi government, had a special stake 
in seeing that agreements were honored and that the price of oil remained high. 14 

The Elephant in the Living Room 

In perhaps one of FTW's most incriminating post 9/11 stories, "The Elephant in 
the Living Room," I built on leads provided to me by a former high-ranking attor- 
ney in the Justice Department and an incredible piece of investigative reporting 
done by Seymour Hersh. 15 That story revealed that major bribes totaling as much 
as $1 billion had been paid by ExxonMobil and BP-Amoco to Kazakh President 
Nursultan Nazarbayev in order to secure equity rights in Kazakh oil fields during 
the 1990s. My own investigation revealed that, even as three separate US grand 
juries were investigating the bribes, Attorney General John Ashcroft had accepted 
large campaign donations from both companies. In the case of ExxonMobil he had 
taken more money than he had from Enron. 

This placed Ashcroft in a dilemma: although he had promptly recused himself 
from any participation in the Enron investigation, he had not recused himself 
from the grand juries. In fact, several inside sources told me that Ashcroft was, in 
fact, interfering with grand juries. I also disclosed that when the bribes were given 
and the equity rights transferred, Dick Cheney, then CEO of Halliburton, had 
also been a sitting member of the Kazakh state oil advisory board which had 
approved the sale on direction of Nazarbayev. 16 That made Cheney the principal 
target of a felonious bribery investigation. No wonder John Ashcroft needed to 
control the grand juries. 

Both ExxonMobil and BP-Amoco were granted access to Dick Cheney's ener- 
gy task force, a body that — as of this writing — is still illegally refusing to release 
its records to the American people. It now seems likely that the Caspian drilling 
failures were a major item on the discussion agenda of those secret meetings, fur- 
ther adding to the sense of urgency building before September 11 th . 



CHAPTER 



Setting Up the War: 
Pakistan's ISI, America's Agent for 
Protecting the Taliban and al Qaeda 

The US secret team exposed 
Clues to election 2000 

We have demonstrated that Saudi interests have, with US blessing and sanc- 
tion, acted as the chief financial and in some cases strategic supporters of 
the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. In turn Pakistan, acting under US direction 
and guidance, has served as the logistical support arm for US geostrategic "imper- 
atives" in Central Asia. In an examination of Pakistan's role we see evidence of an 
elite cadre of personnel, transcendent of either political party, which makes this 
kind of conspiracy function effectively and in secret without involving large num- 
bers of people. In fact, this critical lesson will be demonstrated for us by an 
influential Republican member of the House International Relations Committee. 
In this chapter we meet one of many key witnesses who need a thorough interro- 
gation about 9/11, Karl "Rick" Inderfurth. 

I would like to express my deep gratitude and profound respect for the work of 
two scholars, Professor Michel Chossudovsky, PhD of the University of Ottawa 
and the Centre for Research on Globalization, and Nafeez Ahmed of the Institute 
for Policy Research and Development. Their work has laid enormously important 
foundations for all of us. 

The ISI 

Since 9/11 there has been little denial in the mainstream press or elsewhere that 
Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has been a close ally of the CIA. The use 
of Pakistan by the CIA in the 1980s to conduct a clandestine war against the 
Soviet occupation of Afghanistan is well documented. Pakistan's leader at the 
time, Zia ul-Haq, intensified an already strong CIA-ISI relationship during 
covert operations planned by Brzezinski and others, and then executed by CIA 

103 



104 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Director Bill Casey under Ronald Reagan. During the 1980s, the heroin trade in 
the region exploded, and Osama bin Laden, fighting alongside the likes of opium 
warlord and CIA protege Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, got his first taste of guerilla war- 
fare and terrorist tactics in Afghan and Pakistani mountains. Those mountains 
became riddled with reinforced caves, in many cases built by the Binladin Group 
and paid for by the CIA. 

I was not surprised when Michel Chossudovsky told me in a 2001 conversa- 
tion that by verbal agreement each new head of the ISI had to receive the personal 
blessing of the director of Central Intelligence in Langley, Virginia. The rise of the 
Taliban to assert control over fragmented tribal cultures in Afghanistan happened 
because the CIA and the ISI made it happen. According to the lingering cover 
story, the United States believed that in the Taliban it had found one group that 
could unify the country and provide a stable platform for the construction of 
pipelines. This may in fact have been the case at first, but as the Caspian oil bonan- 
za went bust, things changed. Yet the CIA still protected the Taliban. Why? 

In The War on Freedom, Ahmed wrote: 

Control of Afghanistan by the warlords of the Northern Alliance was 
... increasingly curbed by Taliban forces backed by Pakistan and Saudi 
Arabia. When the Taliban took control of Kabul in 1996, signaling 
the faction's domination of Afghanistan, respected French observer 
Oliver Roy noted that: "When the Taliban took power in Afghanistan 
(1996), it was largely orchestrated by the Pakistani secret service [ISI] 
and the oil company Unocal, with its Saudi ally Delta." 1 

This was confirmed by additional research from Peter Dale Scott indicating 
that ISI support for the Taliban was facilitated — if not directed — by Saudi 
Arabia, the CIA, and Unocal. 2 

Ahmed continued: 

After a visit by the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki [Saudi 
Arabia's liaison with bin Laden for more than 20 years] , to Islamabad 
and Kandahar, US ally Saudi Arabia funded and equipped the Taliban 
march on Kabul. US Afghan experts, including Radha Kumar of the 
Council on Foreign Relations, now admit that the US supported the 
rise of the Taliban. 3 

Remember that in 1996 Osama bin Laden was already a wanted man. But it 
was also a logical move to have a scion of the family with experience in the oil busi- 
ness where he could be useful: owning the largest construction company in the 
region. 

Although the Saudi-Taliban relationship was generally denied in the first 
months after 9/11 as many writers tried to bring it to light, we have generally won 
concession on this point in the mainstream press. 



Setting Up the War ios 



One wonders then about the real purpose of a series of secret meetings held by 
the so-called "6+2 Group" that culminated in July 2001 involving the six coun- 
tries bordering Afghanistan, as well as Russia and the United States. Afghanistan's 
contiguous neighbors are Pakistan, China, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and 
Turkmenistan. US representatives included Tom Simmons, former US Ambassador 
to Pakistan; Lee Coldren, a former State Department expert on South Asian 
affairs; and Karl "Rick" Inderfurth, former Assistant Secretary of State for South 
Asian affairs. These meetings and the US participants are well documented in 
major European press outlets and in Forbidden Truth/ 1 

Simmons, Coldren, and Inderfurth had only recently become "former" US 
officials. They had all been part of the Clinton administration, and they contin- 
ued in the talks as private citizens, giving them a degree of deniability in what 
Brissard and Dasquie call Level Two diplomacy. It was, as a matter of fact, Rick 
Inderfurth who had made the first 0anuary 2000) official US visit to Pakistani 
General Pervez Musharraf after the latter seized power in a 1999 coup. While 
there, Inderfurth met with two representatives of the Taliban. 5 It was reported in 
a number of news stories that the Pakistani representatives (including the ISI) 
attending these 6+2 meetings served as intermediaries with the Taliban during 
negotiations when the Taliban were not present. 6 

Although all press accounts offer the same basic description of the purpose of 
these meetings, they are nowhere explained in greater detail than by Brissard and 
Dasquie in Forbidden Truth. Having been created in 1997 under UN auspices and 
approved by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbot, the group was intended to 
secure multinational agreements that would allow the development of Caspian oil 
and gas resources and the construction of pipelines. For two years the group's 
negotiations were hobbled by internal disputes. But by the end of 2000 it appeared 
as though an agreement was near. The Taliban often attended these meetings, and 
for a while it seemed there was no need for war. Even the surrender of Osama bin 
Laden himself was on the table: 

One month later, on October 18, 2000, the State Department recog- 
nized the work being done by 6+2, as well as the pursuit of negotiations 
with the Taliban in the name of pacifying Afghanistan. Two weeks 
later the negotiations seemed to be on the verge of conclusion. [UN 
special representative] Francesc Vendrell announced that for the first 
time the Taliban and the Northern Alliance were considering a peace 
process under the guidance of 6+2. The West's great hopes for 
Afghanistan's stability seemed, more than ever, on the verge of being 
realized, and Osama bin Laden would be driven out of his sanctuary. 
Yet suddenly, at the very end of the Clinton administration and after 
the US election debacle which saw George W. Bush emerge as the vic- 
tor, everything changed, seemingly in cadence with the election. 



106 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

In less than a month, the diplomatic equilibrium between the 
Taliban and the West had been broken. Negotiations were now out of 
the question, as were the discussions led by 6+2. Remarks on both 
sides were violent and full of suspicion, even anger .... 

Most inflammatory — from the Taliban's perspective — was 
Russia's call to harden sanctions against the Taliban, and the UN 
Security Council resolution that the US and Russia were drafting that 
proposed banning sales of weaponry to the Taliban but not to the 
opposition. 7 

This was a 180-degree shift from secret positions taken by the US for the pre- 
ceding four years. Previously, the US had been arming the Taliban and denying aid 
to its opponents. Of course, after four years and having achieved control of the 
country, one might well ask how many more weapons the Taliban needed. 

In one of its last diplomatic initiatives the Clinton administration called for 
painful new sanctions on the Taliban. 8 Several questions merit discussion. First, 
Forbidden Truth is not clear as to what caused relations to worsen at a moment 
when the long-sought oil agreements were within reach. All we know is that this 
change coincided with the election. Second, the US and Russia acting jointly to 
sour relations and call for sanctions suggests something other than an embittered 
Democratic administration scorching the earth behind it. Russia would never act 
against its own interests, either in the region or globally, by irritating an incoming 
American president with whom it was going to have to live for at least four years. 
There had to have been some approval by the incoming administration for this 
antagonistic shift. 

What is known is that the plans for an invasion of Afghanistan in a so-called 
"military option" had been in place for some time (they were initiated during the 
Clinton administration). 9 It is also known that India, Russia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, 
and Tajikistan had been part of the preparations for what was reportedly joint US- 
Russian military action against Afghanistan scheduled for October 2001. It was 
even being openly discussed in regional newspapers in June 2001. 10 In the months 
following the 9/11 attacks a number of military websites contained references to 
US military personnel being quietly dispatched to Central Asia from as far back as 
1997. 

Even the Washington Post reported that a quiet US military buildup was taking 
place in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan for months before the Presidential 
election. 11 After having consulted with a number of military experts including 
retired West Point instructor Stan Goff, I find it difficult to believe that invasion 
plans could have been concocted and implemented from scratch in January 2001 
in time to have become public knowledge by June. The military option was clear- 
ly initiated under Clinton. 

Another historical landmark is important here. It was right after the 2000 
spring harvest that the Taliban instituted its opium ban. With world opium 



SETTING Up the War 107 



production centered in Afghanistan, the result was a blow to the world's financial 
markets. I characterized the ban as a form of economic warfare. 12 
According to Paul Thompson's timeline, 

Accounts vary, but former Pakistani Foreign Secretary Niaz Naik later 
says he is told by senior American officials at the [July 2001 6+2] 
meeting that military action to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan 
is planned to "take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, 
by the middle of October at the latest." The goal is to kill or capture 
both bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar, topple the Taliban 
regime, and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in 
its place. Uzbekistan and Russia would also participate. Naik also says 
"it was doubtful that Washington would drop its plan even if bin 
Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taliban." [BBC, 
9/18/01]i3 

That was a great way of ensuring that bin Laden would remain in Afghanistan, 
especially if the Taliban were sensing their impending doom. It is likely also a sign 
that the CIA had become desperate to restore the cash flow generated by the 
opium trade. The CIA was already well placed in the region; it had an infrastruc- 
ture, and its mandate was to protect the drug cash flows for Wall Street's benefit. 

An April 1 1, 2002, speech by CIA Deputy Director of Operations James Pavitt 
at Duke University Law School belied the myths that the CIA either lacked 
resources or was somehow not present in the region. The speech was posted on the 
CIA's website and later brilliantly analyzed by journalist Larry Chin of the Online 
Journal (<www.onlinejournal.com>). Key excerpts from the speech show the 
importance of the region and CIA's active presence in it: 

We had very, very good intelligence of the general structure and 
strategies of the al Qaeda terrorist organization. We knew, and we 
warned, that al Qaeda was planning a major strike. There need be no 
question about that .... If you hear somebody say, and I have, the CIA 
abandoned Afghanistan after the Soviets left and that we never paid 
any attention to that place until September 1 1 th , I would implore you 
to ask those people how we were able to accomplish all we did since 
the Soviets departed. How we knew who [sic] to approach on the 
ground, which operations, which warlord to support, what informa- 
tion to collect. Quite simply, we were there well before the 11 th of 
September .... In the Directorate of Operations alone, since just five 
or six years ago, we are training more than 10 times as many opera- 
tions officers. 14 

The new Bush administration promptly engaged in what was to become a fren- 
zy of renewed and hostile negotiations with the Taliban. The UN-appointed head 



108 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



of the 6+2 group, Francesc Vendrell, made five trips to Afghanistan between April 
and August of 2001 alone. 15 

The culmination of these last and secret negotiations held in July 2001 in 
Berlin was apparently triggered by discussions at the July 15 G8 summit in Genoa, 
Italy, where the focus of discussion comprised pipelines, oil issues, and Osama bin 
Laden. 16 It was immediately afterward that Inderfurth, Simmons, and Coldren 
started slamming the military option at the Taliban through messages relayed by 
the LSI. 1 ? 

All of this would seem to indicate that another set of priorities — other than 
the pipelines — had taken over. And yet it was at this time that the American rep- 
resentatives delivered a reported ultimatum to the Taliban to surrender bin Laden, 
stabilize, and negotiate, or the choices would be between a carpet of gold and a 
carpet of bombs. 18 This ultimatum, widely reported in the European press, evoked 
a number of equivocal explanations from meeting participants. Pakistani 
Ambassador Niaz Naik, who attended the fateful meetings, agreed that the state- 
ment was made but denied that pipelines were the subject of the negotiations. This 
seems unlikely, because one is compelled to ask where the "gold" for the Taliban 
was going to come from if not from the pipelines. 19 So what were the urgent nego- 
tiations intended to accomplish? The more layered the deceptions, the more effort 
is required to understand them and reverse engineer the imperatives that brought 
them about. 

Clues about the 2000 election 

Certainly by the end of 2000 a true picture of the actual Caspian oil reserves was 
becoming visible to the major US oil companies and to BP-Amoco. It was also 
likely known by the Taliban and bin Laden, whose Islamic network was well estab- 
lished throughout the Muslim populations of Central Asia. It is not likely, given 
the damage such knowledge would cause on the financial markets, that this infor- 
mation would be widely shared. For a similar reason, sharing it with other nations 
would immediately signal that the US would be turning its sights on Iraq and 
Saudi Arabia. There was no place else to go. US oil consumption, depletion, and 
demand were an open book for all to read. So were the relevant data for every 
nation and region of the world. The need for oil was exploding, and there was less 
to obtain. The oil companies had already invested billions in Central Asia and had 
committed to spending billions more. Public knowledge of the Central Asian bust 
would lead to a frenzied worldwide repetition of the California gold rush in the 
Middle East, where the stakes would be much higher. American foreign policy had 
been focused on the isolation of Iraq through sanctions, and a unilateral decision, 
objected to by many of the major oil companies, to prohibit business with Iran. 
The US was faced with obstacles of its own making in getting to the remaining 
supplies of oil. That much is clear, no matter what view one takes as to the origi- 
nal intentions behind those American policies toward Iraq and Iran: whether 



SETTING Up the War 109 



they're seen as troublesome byproducts of older conflicts, or as cynically engi- 
neered facets of an eventual oil-seeking militarization whose hour had finally come. 

Just four days after taking office, Vice President Cheney organized his energy 
task force in near total secrecy. But some scraps of information were allowed to fall 
from the table; for instance, the small revelation that the task force would exam- 
ine the development of new partnerships in Central Asia. 

Could it be that, with it known to only the elites that Central Asian oil (the 
terms "Central Asian" and "Caspian" are used interchangeably) was a bust, it was 
recognized before the 2000 election that perhaps the biggest crisis in human his- 
tory was both nearer and more threatening than imagined? Could it be that a crisis 
management program was put into effect? If so, that crisis management program 
would have necessitated that an administration capable of ruthless covert and overt 
actions, friendly to the drug trade, and knowledgeable about oil and energy, be 
immediately installed in the White House. And if the election, rigged or stolen by 
whatever means necessary, were challenged, it would require that the Supreme 
Court render an illegal decision to achieve the desired results. This is exactly what 
happened. 

This would require of course that other nations be kept in the dark about the 
true nature of the crisis. It would also require that the general business communi- 
ty and the markets be shielded from knowledge of the imminence of Peak Oil. It 
would likely require the violation of American law and custom, even perhaps the 
total violation of the Constitution not once, but repeatedly. If the crisis were that 
serious, and given the mindset of the powers behind globalization and the oil-glut- 
tonous American Empire, what other options could they see? They put their 
"nasty" team, the one that had produced Iran-Contra, death squads, the Savings 
and Loan scandal, and the Gulf War, into office and gave them carte blanche. 

Still, something would be required to justify Brzezinski's "imperial mobiliza- 
tion" and a massive deployment of US military forces into Central Asia and the 
Middle East on a war footing — an enemy capable of presenting a "massive and 
widely perceived direct external threat." Here we need to take a look at the man 
who, at the beginning of the Bush administration, became the Taliban's main 
antagonist. During the Clinton years he had been its patron saint. His change in 
position came as suddenly as the election of 2000 seemed endless. Having created 
and armed an enemy, the US government now had to make the enemy act like one 
on a broad enough scale to make the world believe that it could provide the plan- 
ning and logistical support for the attacks of 9/1 1. 

Deep politics and a secret team 

Understanding how such a plan might have been enacted quietly, from behind the 
scenes, without causing undue political or economic alarm, is facilitated by look- 
ing more closely at Rick Inderfurth and a member of Congress who openly 
criticized him. Inderfurth's biography, obtained from the Internet, says: 



1 I O CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Karl F. Inderfurth served as Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian 
Affairs from August, 1997 to January, 2001. In this capacity, Assistant 
Secretary Inderfurth had responsibility for the countries of India, 
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and 
Maldives. From October, 1997 to December, 1998 Assistant Secretary 
Inderfurth also served as the US Special Representative of the President 
and the Secretary of State for Global Humanitarian Demining. As the 
Special Representative he oversaw the President's "Demining 2010 
Initiative." 

Prior to his Presidential appointment as Assistant Secretary, Mr. 
Inderfurth served as the US Representative for Special Political Affairs 
to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador. His portfo- 
lio included UN peacekeeping, disarmament, and security affairs. 
Ambassador Inderfurth also served as Deputy US Representative on 
the UN Security Council. 

Mr. Inderfurth departed government service in January of this year, 
at the end of the Clinton Administration. His activities now include 
Senior Advisor to the Nuclear Threat Reduction Campaign (an ini- 
tiative of The Justice Project), Raymond and Juliet Bland Professorial 
Lecturer at George Washington University's Elliott School of 
International Affairs, Senior Associate at the Institute for Global 
Engagement, US participant in United Nations Track II diplomacy on 
Afghanistan [this is confirmation of the 6+2 effort] and member, 
Board of Directors of the Landmine Survivors Network. 

Mr. Inderfurth was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1946. 
He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majored 
in Political Science and received his BA in 1968. He was a Fulbright 
Scholar at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland in 1973 and 
earned his MA from the Department of Politics at Princeton University 
in 1975. 

Subsequently, Mr. Inderfurth served in several government posi- 
tions, including on the staffs of the National Security Council and US 
Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees. In 1981 he 
joined ABC News, first as a National Security Correspondent with a 
special focus on arms control for which he won several honors, includ- 
ing an Emmy Award. Mr. Inderfurth was Moscow Correspondent for 
ABC News from February 1989 to August 1991. 

Mr. Inderfurth is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in 
New York, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, 
the Fulbright Association, and the Council of American Ambassadors. 
Along with Dr. Loch K. Johnson of the University of Georgia, he co- 
authored an examination of the history and transformation of the 



Setting Up the War ill 



National Security Council entitled Decisions of the Highest Order: 
Perspectives on the National Security Council. 20 

Inderfurth also served on the staff of the 1975-1976 Church Committee, 
investigating CIA abuses (I suspect as part of a damage-control team) with fellow 
CFR member Zbigniew Brzezinski. 21 

A colorful Congressional figure who publicly criticized "Rick" Inderfurth and 
who spent a great deal of time in Congress attempting to blame the Clinton 
administration and the Democratic Party for the ascendancy and seeming invul- 
nerability of the Taliban is Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of Orange 
County, California. The biography on his Congressional website says, 

Prior to his election to Congress in 1988, Dana served as Special 
Assistant to President Reagan. For seven years he was one of the pres- 
ident's senior speechwriters. During his tenure at the White House, 
Rohrabacher played a pivotal role in the formulation of the Reagan 
Doctrine and in championing the cause of a strong national defense. 
He also helped formulate President Reagan's Economic Bill of Rights, 
a package of economic reforms that the president introduced in a his- 
toric speech before the Jefferson Memorial. 22 

Other websites reveal the special nature of Rohrabacher's connections to 
Afghanistan. 

A staunch supporter of the Afghan freedom fighters since his days as 
a White House speechwriter for President Reagan, Congressman 
Rohrabacher remains committed to bringing democracy and peace to 
Afghanistan. Rohrabacher has traveled inside Afghanistan with 
Afghan freedom fighters during the war with Soviet-backed forces. 
As a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific House 
Committee on International Relations, he has played a leadership role 
in organizing Congressional hearings and fact-finding missions regard- 
ing Afghanistan. 23 

The website for the conservative Human Events magazine even displays a 1998 
photograph of a bearded Rohrabacher, dressed in tribal garb and holding an AK- 
47 rifle as he posed with anti-Taliban rebels in the Afghan hillside. 24 

Rohrabacher has one other little-known claim to historical connectedness. On 
the night of June 5, 1968, as a 21-year-old activist, he was at the Ambassador 
Hotel in Los Angeles when Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated after winning the 
California primary and securing the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. 
His name turns up in LAPD interrogation records of the event. 25 

As a former LAPD investigator, I have noted how Rohrabacher's trips to 
Afghanistan in the 1980s had been facilitated by the CIA, and I know with cer- 
tainty that the CIA was directly connected to RFK's assassination. In 1993 I 



112 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



consulted briefly on a BBC-funded documentary that brought many of those con- 
nections to light. I also knew it from first-hand experience with some of the people 
charged with framing Sirhan Sirhan. 26 

This is not to say that by implication Rohrabacher was part of the larger and 
secretive strategic planning that had, I believe, taken place regarding Afghanistan. 
On the contrary, it is to suggest that Rohrabacher, having reached a certain level, 
like Christopher Cox, in his attempts to damage the Clinton Administration for 
the criminality of its Russia policies, was not privy to or aware of the larger agen- 
das that transcend political parties and that determine the course of world events. 
And when it came to Pakistan, US support for the Taliban, and "Rick" Inderfurth, 
Rohrabacher hit a brick wall that seemed to cause him a big headache. He had 
"exceeded his pay grade." 

Perhaps one of the greatest post-9/ 1 1 research discoveries is reported by Nafeez 
Ahmed in The War on Freedom, a record of a 2000 Congressional hearing on 
Pakistan and Afghanistan that is more revealing and adds more to our case than 
any additional writing I could do on the subject. 

From Hearings on Global Terrorism and South Asia, held in the House Committee 
on International Relations, Washington, DC, July 12, 2000: 

REP. DANA ROHRABACHER: After a year of requesting to see 
State Department documents on Afghan policy — and I would remind 
the committee that I have — I have stated that I believe that there is 
a covert policy by this administration, a shameful covert policy of sup- 
porting the Taliban — the State Department, after many, many 
months — actually, years — of prodding, finally began giving me 
documents, Mr. Chairman. And I have, in the assessment of those 
documents, I have found nothing to persuade me that I was wrong in 
my criticism. And I might add, however, that there has been no doc- 
uments provided to me, even after all these years of requesting it, there 
have been no documents concerning the time period of the forming 
of the Taliban. And I would again, I would hope that the State 
Department gets the message that I expect to see all those docu- 
ments... 

And although the administration has denied supporting the 
Taliban, it is clear that they discouraged all of the anti-Taliban sup- 
porters from supporting the efforts in Afghanistan to defeat the 
Taliban. Even so much as when the Taliban was ripe for being 
defeated on the ground in Afghanistan, Bill Richardson and "Rick" 
Inderfurth, high-ranking members of this administration, personally 
visited the region in order to discourage the Taliban's opposition from 
attacking the Taliban... and then going to neighboring countries to 
cut off any type of military assistance to the [opponents of the] 



SETTING Up the War 113 



Taliban. This at a time when Pakistan was heavily resupplying and 
rearming the Taliban. 

What did this lead to? It led to the defeat of all of the Taliban's 
major enemies except for one, Commander Massoud, in the north, 
and left the Taliban the supreme power in Afghanistan... [Massoud 
was assassinated by al Qaeda operatives posing as TV cameramen two 
days before the attacks in New York and Washington.] 

One last note. Many people here understand that I have been in 
Afghanistan on numerous occasions and have close ties to people 
there. And let me just say that some of my sources of information 
informed me of where bin Laden was, they told me they knew and 
could tell people where bin Laden could be located. And it took me 
three times before this administration responded to someone who 
obviously has personal contacts in Afghanistan, to even investigate 
that there might be someone who could give them the information. 
And when my contact was actually contacted, they said that the peo- 
ple who contacted them were half-hearted, did not follow through, 
did not appear to be all that interested. . . 

Later the subject of discussion between committee members turned to who had 
been supplying that Taliban with weapons. 

REP. ROHRABACHER: (Laughing) This is a joke! I mean, you have 
to go to closed session to tell us where the weapons are coming from? 
Well, how about let's make a choice. There's Pakistan or Pakistan or 
Pakistan. (Laughs) Where do you think the Taliban — right as we 
speak — I haven't read any classified documents. Everybody in the 
region knows that Pakistan is involved with a massive supply of mili- 
tary weapons and has been since the beginning of the Taliban. 

Let me just state for the record, here, before I get into my 
questions, that I think there's — and it's not just you, Mr. 
Ambassador [Michael Sheehan, State Department Coordinator For 
Counterterrorism] , but it is this administration and, perhaps, other 
administrations as well. I do not believe that terrorism flows from a 
lack of state control .... Only the United States has given — and I 
again make this charge — the United States has been part and parcel 
to supporting the Taliban all along, and still is let me add . . . We have 
been supporting the Taliban, because all our aid goes to the Taliban 
areas. And when people from the outside try to put aid into areas not 
controlled by the Taliban, they are thwarted by our own State 
Department... 

Again, let me just — I am sorry Mr. Inderfurth is not here to 
defend himself — but let me state for the record: at a time when the 



114 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Taliban were vulnerable, the top person of this administration, Mr. 
Inderfurth and Bill Richardson [Clinton Energy Secretary and now 
Governor of New Mexico] went to Afghanistan and convinced the 
anti-Taliban forces not to go on the offensive and, furthermore con- 
vinced all of the anti-Taliban forces, their supporters, to disarm them 
and to cease their flow of support for anti-Taliban forces. 

Rohrabacher's pique continued during an exchange with Deputy Assistant 
Secretary of State (Inderfurth's assistant) Alan Eastham. 

REP. ROHRABACHER: But the Taliban were included; except what 
happened right after all of those other support systems that had been 
dismantled because of Mr. Inderfurth's and Mr. Richardson's appeal, 
and the State Department's appeal? What happened immediately — 
not only immediately after, even while you were making that appeal, 
what happened in Pakistan? Was there an airlift of supplies, military 
supplies, between Pakistan and Kabul and the forward elements of the 
Taliban forces? 

REP. ROHRABACHER [answering his own question]: The 
answer is yes. I know. 

MR. EASTHAM: The answer is — 

REP. ROHRABACHER: You can't tell me because — 

MR. EASTHAM: The answer is — 

REP. ROHRABACHER: — it's secret information. 

MR. EASTHAM: The answer is closed session. If you would like 
to dredge up that record. 

REP ROHRABACHER: Well, I don't have to go into closed ses- 
sion because I didn't get that information from any classified 

document Mr. Inderfurth, Mr. Bill Richardson, a good friend of 

mine, doing the bidding of this administration, basically convinced 
the anti-Taliban mentors to quit providing them the weapons they 
needed, with some scheme the Taliban were then going to lay down 
their arms. And immediately thereafter, Pakistan started a massive shift 
of military supplies that resulted in the total defeat of the anti-Taliban 
forces .... Why haven't I been provided any documents about State 
Department analysis of — during the formation period of the Taliban, 
about whether or not the Taliban was a good force or a bad force? Why 
have none of those documents reached my desk after two years? 

MR. EASTHAM: The effort was to stop the support for all the 
factions. 

REP. ROHRABACHER: That's correct. You didn't deny that we 
disarmed their opponents, you just said we were doing it with the 
Taliban as well. But as I pointed out, which you did not deny, the 



Setting Up the War lis 



Taliban were immediately resupplied. Which means that we are part 
and parcel of disarming the victim, thinking that the aggressor was 
going to be disarmed as well, but it just didn't work out — at the 
moment when Pakistan was arming them I might add. 

Pakistan's 9/11 smoking gun in the CIA's hand 

One of the most important items FTWvras to bring to light immediately after 
the attacks is listed as item 18 in our timeline "Oh Lucy, You Gotta Lotta 
'Splainin' to do!" 

May 2001 — Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a career 
covert operative and [reported] former Navy Seal, travels to India on 
a publicized tour, while CIA Director George Tenet makes a quiet 
visit to Pakistan to meet with Pakistani leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf. 
Armitage has long and deep Pakistani intelligence connections. It 
would be reasonable to assume that while in Islamabad, Tenet, in 
what was described as "an unusually long meeting," also met with his 
Pakistani counterpart, Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmad, head of the ISI. 
[Source: The Indian SAPRA news agency, May 22, 200 1]» 

One could argue that these meetings were essential in light of the deteriorating 
political situation. However the evidence suggests a different motive altogether — 
especially for Tenet's visit to Pakistan; that darker agenda is suggested by previous 
history and by the cover-up behavior of the White House and its pliant allies in 
the media. 

[Special acknowledgement and thanks are given to Professor Michel 
Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa who granted me permission to include 
lengthy excerpts from the following article that he published on June 20, 2002.] 

Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11 
by Michel Chossudovsky [Reprinted with permission] 

A "Red Herring" is a fallacy of rhetoric, in which an irrelevant topic 
is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. 
The foreknowledge issue is a Red Herring. 

On May 1 6 th the New York Post dropped what appeared to be a 
bombshell: "Bush Knew." Hoping to score politically, the Democrats 
jumped on the bandwagon, pressuring the White House to come clean 
on two "top-secret documents" made available to President Bush prior 
to September 1 1 , concerning "advance knowledge" of al Qaeda 
attacks. Meanwhile, the US media had already coined a new set of 
buzzwords: "Yes, there were warnings'" and "clues" of possible terrorist 
attacks, but "there was no way President Bush could have known" what 
was going to happen. The Democrats agreed to "keep the cat inside the 



116 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



bag" by saying: "Osama is at war with the US, " and the FBI and the 
CIA knew something was cooking but "failed to connect the dots." In 
the wotds of House Minority Leader, Richard Gephardt: "This is not 
blame-placing ....We support the President on the war against terrorism. 
Have and will. But we've got to do better in preventing terrorist attacks. " 

The media's spotlight on "foreknowledge' and so-called "FBI laps- 
es" served to distract public attention from the broader issue of 
political deception. Not a word was mentioned concerning the role of 
the CIA, which throughout the entire post-cold war era, has aided and 
abetted Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda, as part of its covert operations. 

Of course they knew! The foreknowledge issue is a red herring. 
The "Islamic Brigades" are a creation of the CIA. In standard CIA jar- 
gon, al Qaeda is categorized as an "intelligence asset." Support to 
terrorist organizations is an integral part of US foreign policy. Al 
Qaeda continues to this date (2002) to participate in CIA covert oper- 
ations in different parts of the world. These "CIA-Osama links" do 
not belong to a bygone era, as suggested by the mainstream media. 

The US Congress has documented in detail, the links of al Qaeda 
to agencies of the US government during the civil war in Bosnia- 
Herzegovina, as well as in Kosovo. More recently in Macedonia, barely 
a few months before September 1 1 , US military advisers were min- 
gling with Mujahideen mercenaries financed by al Qaeda. Both 
groups were fighting under the auspices of the Kosovo Liberation 
Army (KLA), within the same terrorist paramilitary formation. 

The CIA keeps track of its "intelligence assets." Amply document- 
ed, Osama bin Laden's whereabouts were always known. Al Qaeda is 
infiltrated by the CIA. In other words, there were no "intelligence 
failures"! In the nature of a well-led intelligence operation, the "intel- 
ligence asset" operates (wittingly or unwittingly) with some degree of 
autonomy, in relation to its US government sponsors, but ultimately 
it acts consistently, in the interests of Uncle Sam. 

While individual FBI agents are often unaware of the CIAs role, 
the relationship between the CIA and al Qaeda is known at the top 
levels of the FBI. Members of the Bush administration and the US 
Congress are fully cognizant of these links. 

The foreknowledge issue focussing on "FBI lapses" is an obvious 
smokescreen. While the whistleblowers serve to underscore the weak- 
nesses of the FBI, the role of successive US administrations (since the 
presidency of Jimmy Carter) in support of the "Islamic Militant 
Base." is simply not mentioned. 
Fear and disinformation campaign 

The Bush administration, through the personal initiative of Vice 



SETTING Up the War 117 



President Dick Cheney, chose not only to foreclose the possibility of 
a public inquiry, but also to trigger a fear and disinformation cam- 
paign: "I think that the prospects of a future attack on the US are 
almost a certainty .... It could happen tomorrow, it could happen 
next week, it could happen next year, but they will keep trying. And 
we have to be prepared. "What Cheney is really telling us is that our 
"intelligence asset." which we created, is going to strike again. Now, if 
this "CIA creature" were planning new terrorist attacks, you would 
expect that the CIA would be first to know about it. In all likelihood, 
the CIA also controls the so-called "warnings" emanating from CIA 
sources on "future terrorist attacks" on American soil. 
Carefully planned intelligence operation 

The 9/11 terrorists did not act on their own volition. The suicide 
hijackers were instruments in a carefully planned intelligence opera- 
tion. The evidence confirms that al Qaeda is supported by Pakistan's 
military intelligence, the Inter-services Intelligence (ISI). Amply doc- 
umented, the ISI owes its existence to the CIA: "With CIA backing 
and the funnelling of massive amounts of US military aid, the ISI devel- 
oped [since the early 1980s] into a parallel structure wielding 
enormous power over all aspects of government .... The ISI had a staff 
composed of military and intelligence officers, bureaucrats, undercover 
agents, and informers estimated at 150,000." 
The missing link 

The FBI confirmed in late September 2001, in an interview with 
ABC News (which went virtually unnoticed) that the 9/11 ring 
leader, Mohammed Atta, had been financed from unnamed sources in 
Pakistan: 

As to September 11 th , federal authorities have told ABC News 
they have now tracked more than $100,000 from banks in 
Pakistan, to two banks in Florida, to accounts held by suspect- 
ed hijack ring leader, Mohammed Atta .... Time Magazine is 
reporting that some of that money came in the days just before 
the attack and can be traced directly to people connected to 
Osama bin Laden. It's all part of what has been a successful FBI 
effort so far to close in on the hijacker's high commander, the 
money men, the planners, and the mastermind. 

The FBI had information on the money trail. They knew exactly who 
was financing the terrorists. Less than two weeks later, the findings of 
the FBI were confirmed by Agence France Presse (AFP) and the Times of 
India, quoting an official Indian intelligence report (which had been 
dispatched to Washington). According to these two reports, the money 



118 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



used to finance the 9/11 attacks had allegedly been "wired to WTC 
hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan, by Ahmad Umar Sheikh, at 
the instance of [ISI Chief] General Mahmoud [Ahmad]." According to 
the AFP (quoting the intelligence source): "The evidence we have sup- 
plied to the US is of a much wider range and depth than just one piece 
of paper linking a rogue general to some misplaced act of terrorism." 
Pakistan's chief spy visits Washington 

Now, it just so happens that General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged 
"money man" behind 9/11, was in the US when the attacks occurred. 
He arrived on September 4 th , one week before 9/11, on what was 
described as a routine visit of consultations with his US counterparts. 
According to Pakistani journalist, Amir Mateen (in a prophetic article 
published on September 10): 

ISI Chief Lt-Gen. Mahmoud's week-long presence in 
Washington has triggered speculation about the agenda of his 
mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security 
Council. Officially, he is on a routine visit in return to CIA 
Director George Tenet's earlier visit to Islamabad. Official 
sources confirm that he met Tenet this week. He also held long 
parlays with unspecified officials at the White House and the 
Pentagon. But the most important meeting was with Marc 
Grossman, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. 
One can safely guess that the discussions must have centred 
around Afghanistan .... and Osama bin Laden. What added 
interest to his visit is the history of such visits. Last time 
Ziauddin Butt, Mahmoud's predecessor, was here, during 
Nawaz Sharif's government, the domestic politics turned topsy- 
turvy within days. 

Nawaz Sharif was overthrown by General Pervez Musharaf. General 
Mahmoud Ahmad, who became the head of the ISI, played a key role 
in the military coup. 

Schedule of Pakistan's Chief of Military Intelligence Lt. Gen. 
Mahmoud Ahmad, Washington, September 4-13, 2001: 

Summer 2001: ISI Chief Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Ahmad transfers 
$100,000 to 9/1 1 Ringleader Mohamed Atta. 
September 4: Ahmad arrives in the US on an official visit. 
September 4-9: He meets his US counterparts including CIA head 
George Tenet. 

September 9: Assassination of General Massood, leader of the 
Northern Alliance. Official statement by Northern Alliance points to 
involvement of the ISI-Osama-Taliban axis. 



SETTING Up the War 119 



September 11: Terrorist Attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. At the 
time of the attacks, Lt. Gen. Ahmad was at a breakfast meeting at the 
Capitol with the chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence 
Committees Sen. Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss. Also present 
at the meeting were Sen. John Kyi and the Pakistani Ambassador to 
the US, Maleeha Lodhi. 

September 12-13: Meetings between Lt. Gen. Ahmad and Deputy 
Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Agreement on Pakistan's collab- 
oration negotiated between Ahmad and Armitage. Meeting between 
General Ahmad and Secretary of State Colin Powell 
September 13: Ahmad meets Senator Joseph Biden, Chairman of the 
Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 
Condoleezza Rice's press conference 

In the course of Condoleezza Rice's May 16 [2002] press conference 
(which took place barely a few hours after the publication of the 
"Bush Knew" headlines in the New York Post), an accredited Indian 
journalist asked a question on the role of General Mahmoud Ahmad: 

Q: Dr. Rice? 

Ms RICE: Yes? 

Q: Are you aware of the reports at the time that the ISI chief was 
in Washington on September 11 th , and on September 10 th $100,000 
was wired from Pakistan to these groups here in this area? And why was 
he here? Was he meeting with you or anybody in the administration? 

Ms RICE: I have not seen that report, and he was certainly not 
meeting with me. 

Although there is no official confirmation, in all likelihood 
General Mahmoud Ahmad met Rice during the course of his official 
visit. Moreover [as was the case with President Bush's 2003 dishonest 
statement about Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium from Niger] she 
must have been fully aware of the $100,000 transfer to Mohammed 
Atta, which had been confirmed by the FBI. 
Mysterious 9/11 breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill 
On the morning of September 1 1 , General Mahmoud Ahmad, the 
alleged "money-man" behind the 9/11 hijackers was at a breakfast 
meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham (Democrat) 
and Representative Porter Goss (Republican), respectively chairmen 
of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. While trivialising 
the importance of the 9/11 breakfast meeting, the Miami Herald 
(September 16, 2001) confirms that General Ahmad also met 
Secretary of State Colin Powell in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. 
"Graham said the Pakistani intelligence official with whom he met, a 
top general in the government, was forced to stay all week in 



120 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Washington because of the shutdown of air traffic 'He was marooned 
here, and I think that gave Secretary of State Powell and others in the 
administration a chance to really talk with him,' Graham said." 

With the exception of the Florida press (and <www.salon.com>, 
September 14), not a word was mentioned in the US media's September 
coverage of 9/11 concerning this mysterious breakfast reunion. While 
the Washington Post acknowledges the links between ISI Chief 
Mahmoud Ahmad and Osama bin Laden, it fails to dwell on the more 
important question: What was Mahmoud doing on Capitol Hill on the 
morning of September 11, together with Rep. Porter Goss and Senator 
Bob Graham and other members of the Senate and House intelligence 
committees? 

The investigation and public hearings on "intelligence failures" 

In a bitter irony, Rep. Porter Goss and Senator Bob Graham, — the 
men who hosted the mysterious September 1 1 breakfast meeting with 
the alleged "hijacker's high commander" (to use the FBI's expression), 
had been put in charge of the investigation and public hearings on so- 
called "intelligence failures." 

Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney had expressed anger on a 
so-called "leak" emanating from the intelligence committees regarding 
"the disclosure of National Security Agency intercepts of messages in 
Arabic on the eve of the attacks. The messages ... were in two separate 
conversations on September 10 and contained the phrases 'Tomorrow 
is zero hour' and 'The match is about to begin.' The messages were 
not translated until September 12." 28 

The Bush Administration 

CIA Director 

State Department -< ► George Tenet -< ► State Department 

Richard Armitage Marc Grossman 

I Pakistan ISI Chief -< ^ 

General Mohmound Alhmad 

+ 

$100,000 
9-1 1 Ring leader Mohammed Atta 
The media commits a crime 

Below is a transcript of the same Rice press conference (obtained by 
Chossudovsky) from the Federal News Service. Both the CNN and 
White House transcripts reported that when Rice was questioned 
about Ahmed's presence in Washington the identity of the person 



Setting Up the War 121 



being asked about was inaudible! Yet the Federal News Service got it 
right. In watching a tape of the press conference every word was crystal 
clear. There was not the slightest chance that any part was inaudible. 

Federal News Service May 16, 2002, Thursday, 
SECTION: WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING, 
HEADLINE: SPECIAL WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING 

Q: Are you aware of the reports at the time that ISI chief was in 
Washington on September 11 th , and on September 10 th , 
$100,000 was wired from Pakistan to these groups here in this 
area? And why he was here? Was he meeting with you or any- 
body in the administration? 

MS. RICE: I have not seen that report, and he was certainly not 
meeting with me. 

Daniel Pearl 

Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped in January of 
2002 from Pakistani streets. His body was found in May, and at the 
same time the Pakistani police announced that they had a prime sus- 
pect in the case, Omar Saeed Sheikh. 

He is variously known also by the names Ahmad Umar Sheik, 
Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh, and Umar Sheikh. He was raised and 
educated in London, and, by whatever name he is known, it has been 
acknowledged that he was an ISI agent. When the Times of India 
revealed that by examining his cell phone records (obtained through 
Indian intelligence services) they could prove that he was the leg man 
who had wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta in Florida just days 
before the attacks, they did not know that he was going to be arrest- 
ed and convicted for the murder of Pearl. It was the cell phone 
records, among other things, that tied Sheikh directly to the ISI. 29 
And before his link to ISI Chief General Ahmad became known and 
corroborated by major US papers, the American press had been set- 
ting him up as the number one al Qaeda bag-man. 

The ISI connection changed all that and became a liability for the 
US government. Paul Thompson's timeline contains a compelling 
entry on the case that could have proven devastating for the CIA had 
the dots been connected properly. 

September 8-11, 2001 (C): Saeed Sheikh transfers money from 
the United Arab Emirates to Atta in Florida on September 8 
and 9 (the United Arab Emirates is known for lax banking laws 
and has no law against money laundering [State Department 



122 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

briefing, 7/8/99]). On September 9, three hijackers, Atta, Walid 
Alshehri, and Marwan Alshehhi, transfer about $ 1 5 ,000 back to 
Saeed's account. [Time, 10/1/01; Los Angeles Times, 10/20/01] 
Apparently the hijackers are returning money meant for the 
9/11 attacks that they didn't use. Saeed then flies from the 
United Arab Emirates to Karachi, Pakistan, on 9/11. These last 
minute transfers are touted as the "smoking gun" proving al- 
Qaeda involvement in the 9/11 attacks, since Saeed is a known 
financial manager for bin Laden. [Guardian, 1 0/ 1/0 1 ] 30 

With so much damning evidence stacking up to suggest that the CIA had actu- 
ally helped to finance the 9/11 attacks, there was nothing left for the mainstream 
press to do but engage in a game of confusion. Instead of asking the questions that 
should have been asked, the media confused the issue by describing the same man 
in his roles as ISI agent and bin Laden bagman under many different names and 
by attempting to insert another individual into the mix. 

Researcher Chaim Kupferberg documented the major media's name game in 
trying to confuse Sheikh's identity with another man, bin Laden's brother-in- 
law. Kupferberg meticulously pulled apart about two dozen mainstream press 
reports and demonstrated deceptive reporting in attempts to conceal Sheik's 
identity by attributing acts originally been reported as Sheikh's to another per- 
son entirely. 31 

After Sheik's conviction for Pearl's murder in July 2002, other revelations 
showed that Pearl had maintained fairly close relationships with the CIA. One 
report indicated that Pearl was involved in passing a hard-drive from an al Qaeda 
laptop computer to the CIA. Another quoted former CIA case officer Robert Baer 
as saying, "I was working with Pearl." Baer stated in the story that he had been 
encouraging Pearl to investigate the CIA's top operational suspect in the attacks, 
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. 32 

Abandoning the tortuous logic of trying to rationalize actions indicating guilty 
knowledge and cover-up, it is appropriate to ask if Pearl was really investigating the 
hottest 9/11 story around. Was Pearl investigating the ISI? At least two sources say 
yes. Kupferberg wrote" 

Tariq Ali of the Guardian reported on April 5, 2002: 'Those he [Pearl] 
was in touch with say he was working to uncover links between the 
intelligence services and terrorism. His newspaper has been remark- 
ably coy, refusing to disclose the leads Pearl was pursuing.' 33 

And in the spring of 2002 I interviewed an international attorney just return- 
ing from several months of work in Pakistan. Because he has ongoing business in 
Pakistan I cannot name him here, but I can tell you what he said. "Oh, there's no 
doubt about it. It was common knowledge on the streets. Pearl was investigating 
the ISI." 



CHAPTER 



Business with the Bin Ladens: 
The Real Saudi Arabia 



The most important thing for us is to find Osama bin Laden. It's our 
number one priority, and we will not rest until we find him. 



— George W. Bush, September 13, 2001 



/ don't know where he is. I have no idea, and I really don't care. It's not 
that important. It's not our priority. 



— George W, Bush, March 13, 2002 



sama bin Laden is probably the last witness the United States would like to 



V 'have interrogated. There is a compelling case to be made that Osama bin 

Laden has long been a well-cultivated, protected, and valued asset of US and 
British intelligence. It is also possible that he has been used. 

The bin Laden family of Saudi Arabia is vastly different from what has been 
described in the American press. Much of its wealth, power, sophistication, and 
political and economic influence has been overlooked. A close examination leads 
directly to US economic and intelligence interests. And this does much to explain 
why American corporate media has avoided discussing it in detail. 

To understand the deep connections and alliances between the bin Ladens and 
Western economic and political interests — including the Bush family — is to 
glimpse the overall fragmented nature of Saudi Arabia: at once extremely power- 
ful and extremely fragile because of its own internal fault lines; under intense 
pressure and held together by extraordinary means; manipulated unceasingly by 
the United States and its own elites. 

It is necessary to dispel one popular myth that has remained in the public con- 
sciousness since September 11: that of Osama bin Laden as an outcast, totally 
estranged from his family. This estrangement allegedly occurred after the 1991 
Iraq War as the United States kept its military bases on Saudi soil and Osama, who 
had been a US ally and CIA protege during the Soviet-Afghan conflict of the 
1 980s, turned towards terrorism. 




1 23 



124 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Prodigal black sheep with an open door 

Both the United States government and global business trumpeted a 1993 state- 
ment by Bakr bin Laden, the successor as family head after the 1988 death of 
Osama's older brother Salem. "The entire family regrets, denounces, and condemns 
all of the acts committed by Osama bin Laden." 1 That was a convenient statement 
serving many interests. 

After he took a public stance opposing the Saudi regime's decision that allowed 
US troops to be housed on holy soil, Osama bin Laden's citizenship was revoked 
in 1994, giving the appearance of a total split with both his family and the monar- 
chy. Whenever financial transactions between either the family or Saudi potentates 
and Osama have been disclosed, the explanation has been offered that these were 
extortion payments to keep him from making attacks inside Saudi Arabia. This 
position has been essential to the US's credibility in its business and diplomatic 
dealings. And, like so many other official US positions taken since 9/11, it is at 
least partially deceitful. 

Not only did the bin Laden family continue to openly receive and visit Osama 
after 1994, members of the family have assisted in funding al Qaeda and its ter- 
rorist operations. That should not be taken to mean that they were acting in the 
interests of Saudi Arabia. It means that they were acting in the interests of the bin 
Ladens and their allies. This, at a time when they operated an enormous global 
financial empire that enjoyed large-scale joint business ventures with American oil 
companies including Enron, major financial institutions, and even the Bush fam- 
ily itself. The bin Ladens are major players in the new globalized financial order. 
For some companies, terrorism is good business. 

In their book The Forbidden Truth, French authors Brisard and Dasquie wrote: 

Osama bin Laden's own sister recently admitted that it was inconceiv- 
able that 'none of the fifty-four family members kept ties with him.' 
But she also revealed the change in tone that has recently been adopt- 
ed with regard to her brother. Since the September 1 1 attacks Osama 
bin Laden has become a 'half brother' to his siblings. But this word 
choice is arbitrary; in an Islamic country that practices polygamy, the 
children born of different wives are simply brothers and sisters. 2 

Of the more than 50 "brothers and sisters" 3 all fathered by Osama's father 
Mohammed, Osama is the only child to have also been born of a Saudi mother. In 
the Saudi culture and "in the eyes of the authorities, this 'Saudi' son would make 
a trustworthy representative, and he would eventually become a close confidant of 
Prince Turki, the head of Saudi intelligence." 4 

Brisard and Dasquie also quote an undated CNN interview with Peter Arnett 
in which Osama claimed that his "mother, uncle, and brothers" had visited him in 
Khartoum, Sudan. This presumably occurred in the mid 1990s, during the period 
in which Osama resided there after the reported rift. 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 125 



There is much more information showing that the reported schism in the fam- 
ily is a convenient charade. From Paul Thompson's timeline: 

Spring, 2000: Sources who know bin Laden later claim that bin 
Laden's mother has a second meeting with her son in Afghanistan. 
The trip is approved by the Saudi royal family. The Saudis pass the 
message to him that 'they wouldn't crack down on his followers in 
Saudi Arabia as long as he set his sights on targets outside the desert 
kingdom. In late 1999, the Saudi government had told the CIA about 
the trip, and suggested placing a homing beacon on her luggage. This 
doesn't happen — Saudis later claim they weren't taken seriously, and 
Americans claim they never received specific information on her trav- 
el plans. [New Yorker, 11/5/01, Washington Post, 12/19/01]. " 5 

This also is one of the literally dozens of opportunities for bin Laden's capture 
which the US government chose to ignore. Sudanese officials had been keeping 
real-time surveillance of bin Laden's movements in the country while he lived 
there until 1995 and giving the results to US intelligence. The US government 
could have easily apprehended bin Laden with Sudanese assistance. The Sudanese 
would have gladly provided it in order to continue receiving US financial aid. 
Instead the US forced the Sudanese to expel bin Laden, driving him back into 
Afghanistan, where he became a pivotal influence in the growing power of al 
Qaeda and the Taliban. 6 In fact, the Sudanese government offered to take bin 
Laden into custody and was rebuffed. One is compelled to ask whether this is col- 
lective, contagious, and continuing stupidity or more evidence of desired outcomes 
being realized. 

The Washington Post explicitly suggested that the real relationship between the 
United States government and Osama bin Laden may be quite the opposite of 
what it seems. "As early as March 1996, the government of Sudan offered to extra- 
dite bin Laden to the United States. US officials turned down the offer, perhaps 
preferring to use him 'as a combatant in an underground war.'" 7 In other words, 
as a US government agent. 8 

In a follow-up story, the Village Voice expanded further on the Sudanese fiasco: 

Nevertheless, one US intelligence source in the region called the lost 
opportunity a disgrace. "We kidnap minor drug czars and bring them 
back in burlap bags. Somebody didn't want this to happen." He added 
that the State Department may have blocked bin Laden's arrest to pla- 
cate a part of the Saudi Arabian government that supported bin 
Laden. (Much of bin Laden's funding and some of his followers, 
including suicide bombers, come from Saudi Arabia, which was one 
of only three countries to recognize the Taliban. That changed after 
September 1 1 . By then, the Saudis had fired their longtime intelligence 



126 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, reportedly for his support of bin Laden.) 
Another American intelligence official told the Voice, "I've never seen 
a brick wall like this before." 9 

Not only did family connections continue after the "rift," there is evidence that 
members of the family also supported terrorist activity. In reality, [the family's] ties 
with Osama bin Laden had always existed and were never really broken. As one 
Western intelligence agency noted, the bin Laden family had rigorously followed 
'the principal of total family solidarity among all its members' since the 1980s. 

In this way, two of Osama bin Laden's brothers-in-law, Muhammad 
Jamal Khalifa and Saad Al Sharif, played a crucial role, according to 
American authorities, in the financing of al Qaeda. The first did so 
through a charity organization based in Jeddah that did work in the 
Philippines. He also financed bin Laden's activities in Malaysia, 
Singapore, and Mauritius. 10 

Khalifa was linked by former CIA official Vince Cannistraro to a Yemeni ter- 
rorist group that claimed responsibility for the 2001 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. 
After he had been detained in the US by immigration authorities when this was 
known, instead of holding him for trial in the US, American officials deported him 
to Jordan, where he was wanted but was soon released on a technicality. 11 

Two more compelling citations from Paul Thompson's timeline further give the 
lie to the myth of Osama's ostracism: 

February 2001: A former CIA anti-terror expert tells the New Yorker 
that an allied intelligence agency sees "two of Osama's sisters appar- 
ently taking cash to an airport in Abu Dhabi, where they are suspected 
of handing it to a member of bin Laden's al Qaeda organization." This 
is cited as one of many incidents showing "interconnectedness" between 
Osama bin Laden and the rest of his family. [New Yorker, 1 1/5/01] 12 

November 5, 2001: A New Yorker article points to evidence that 
the bin Laden family has generally not ostracized . . . bin Laden as is 
popularly believed (for instance, see [Newsweek, 10/15/01]), but 
retains close ties in some cases. The large bin Laden family owns and 
runs a $5 billion a year global corporation that includes the largest 
construction firm in the Islamic world. One counter-terrorism expert 
says, "There's obviously a lot of spin by the Saudi Binladin Group [the 
family corporation] to distinguish itself from Osama. I've been fol- 
lowing the bin Ladens for years, and it's easy to say, 'We disown him.' 
Many in the family have. But blood is usually thicker than water." The 
article notes that neither the bin Laden family nor the Saudi royal 
family have publicly denounced bin Laden since 9/11. [New Yorker, 
11/5/01]" 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 127 



The family's continuing support for Osama bin Laden became a matter of pub- 
lic record in 1999. As Thompson's timeline observes: 

April 1999: A Saudi government audit shows that five of Saudi 
Arabia's billionaires have been giving tens of millions of dollars to al 
Qaeda. The audit shows that these businessmen transferred money 
from the National Commercial Bank to accounts of Islamic charities 
in London and New York banks that serve as fronts for bin Laden. $3 
million was diverted from a Saudi pension fund. The only action 
taken is that Khalid bin Mahfouz, founder of National Commercial 
Bank, Saudi Arabia's biggest bank, is placed under house arrest. Bin 
Mahfouz had invested in George Bush Jr.'s businesses starting in 
1989. The US has not frozen the accounts of bin Mahfouz, and he 
continues to engage in major oil deals with US corporations. [USA 
Today, 10/29/99, Boston Herald, 12/10/01] 

Just what is the "Saudi Binladin Group" and what does it do? 

The Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) 

Perhaps the most comprehensive breakdown of the bin Laden family's operations 
was compiled by former French intelligence consultant Jean-Charles Brisard as a 
project commissioned by the French intelligence community entitled The Economic 
Network of the bin Laden Family. Much of that work was reproduced in Forbidden 
Truth. 

With its headquarters in Jeddah, the parent company of SBG, Saudi Investment 
Company (SICO) operates four subsidiaries: SICO Curacao (Dutch Antilles), the 
Tropiville Corporation NV (Dutch Antilles), Falken Ltd. (Cayman Islands), and 
Islay Holdings (Isle d'Islay). Falken and Tropiville together own Russell Wood 
Holdings Ltd. (London) and Russell Wood Ltd. (London). An additional six sub- 
sidiaries, controlled by either Russell Wood or Islay Holdings, all with innocuous- 
sounding names starting with "Falcon," "Globe," "Turkey Rock," or "Saffron," are 
all located in Britain. In addition, one subsidiary, Falcon Properties Ltd., in con- 
junction with Saudi investor Ghaith Pharoan, owns the Attock Oil Company, also 
located in England. 

Founded in 1931 at the same time as the nation of Saudi Arabia, the bin Laden 
family business is the largest construction company in the Middle East. But this 
easy observation leads to a tangled web of financial and political machinations. 
The holding companies are located on Caribbean islands frequently associated 
with money laundering. Obviously a great many financial and corporate entities 
can be concealed within tightly controlled holding companies. What else is known 
about the operations of this empire? 

The Saudi Binladin Group owns orbiting satellites and has contracts with the 
US Department of Defense (DoD). Iridium Satellite, LLC is a privately held, bin 



128 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Laden Group company which owns a series of 73 low-orbit stationary satellites 
designed to provide satellite phone coverage across the surface of the Earth. 
Originally developed by Motorola, Iridium LLC was bankrupt in 1999 when the 
bin Laden group purchased it and renamed it Iridium Satellite, LLC. The compa- 
ny is based in Leesburg, VA, not far from the CIA and the National Reconnaissance 
Office. Since the bankruptcy takeover, the company has garnered a $72 million 
DoD contract and a $300,000 NSF grant to "gauge the magnetic characteristics 
of the energy fields caused by solar storms." 

Apparently, 600 Iridium Satellite phones were en route to Florida on September 
1 1 and were redirected to NYC to help with the tragedy. After September 1 1 , there 
was some talk of using Iridium Satellite LLC's "low Earth orbiting satellites to pro- 
vide real-time cockpit voice and flight data monitoring of commercial aircraft, 
replacing the on-board 'black boxes.'" 14 

SBG's construction arm was involved in the building of US military bases in 
Saudi Arabia, including the Khobar towers, destroyed by a terrorist bomb in 
June 1996 killing 19 US servicemen. SBG also had business ventures with US 
oil companies such as Unocal and Enron. In addition they built large portions 
of the holy sites at Mecca for the Saudi government as a result of a special rela- 
tionship they have enjoyed with the royal family since the founding of the 
kingdom. 15 

As the exclusive contractor for the holy sites in Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem 
(until 1967), SBG and the bin Laden family enjoyed virtually competition-free 
access to government contracts. The company even served as a tutor for members 
of the royal family on matters of business and international finance. 16 Even more 
significant, in an Islamic culture strictly opposed to the collection of interest, "the 
SBG is the only private Saudi institution able to issue bonds. In 2001 it had 
35,000 employees with estimated revenues of $3 - 5 billion. In the 1980s it rep- 
resented the likes of Porsche and Audi and developed Saudi partnerships with GE, 
Nortel, and Schweppes. All of these companies pretend to this day that SBG and 
Osama bin Laden are totally divorced." 17 

As for its banking relationships, SBG is known to favor the Saudi Commercial 
Bank, 18 Deutsche Bank's London office, and Citigroup. 19 It also has exten- 
sive financial relationships with Goldman Sachs and the Fremont Group, a 
San Francisco investment firm whose directorate includes former Secretary of 
State George P. Shultz. His connections to the SBG reach from the banking side 
to the construction side; Shultz is the former CEO of the Bechtel Group, a heavy 
construction firm with major interests in pipeline construction throughout the 
Middle East. 20 Just after the US occupation of Iraq in April 2003, Bechtel was 
awarded a contract worth up to $680 million to assist in the rebuilding of Iraqi 
infrastructure. 

In 2001, the Wall Street Journal succinctly captured the importance of SBG in 
the operations of the Empire: 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 129 



"If there were ever any company closely connected to the US and its 
presence in Saudi Arabia, it's the Saudi Binladin Group," says Charles 
Freeman, president of the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington 
nonprofit concern that receives tens of thousands of dollars a year 
from the bin Laden family. 21 

SBG also makes sizeable investments in foreign corporations, including many 
in the US. FTWw&s among the first, just after the attacks of 9/1 1, to bring pub- 
lic attention to the fact that the bin Ladens had a multimillion-dollar stake in the 
Carlyle Group, a privately held US company. 

Carlyle 

On October 9, 2001, I published a story in .WW 7 on connections between the 
Bushes and the bin Ladens; it helped start an uproar that eventually led to the 
SBG divesting itself from Carlyle. Why is Carlyle so significant? As a holding com- 
pany and investment bank, it is a major component of the US defense industry. 
Most people are unaware that on September 11, 2001, as the attacks were taking 
place, members of the bin Laden family (along with other key investors) were in 
Washington, DC meeting with the Carlyle Group at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, just 
blocks away from the White House. 22 Following are excerpts from that story. 
The Carlyle Group, the Bushes, and bin Laden 
The warnings about the Carlyle Group, the [at that time] nation's 
eleventh largest defense contractor, and the Bushes came long before 
the World Trade Center attacks. The Carlyle Group is a closely held 
corporation, exempt, for that reason, from reporting its affairs to the 
Securities and Exchange Commission. Little is known of what it actu- 
ally does except that it buys and sells defense contractors. As of 
October 4, 2001, it has removed its corporate website from the World 
Wide Web, making further investigation through that channel impos- 
sible. Its Directors include Frank Carlucci, former Reagan Secretary of 
Defense; James Baker, former Bush Secretary of State; and Richard 
Darman, a former White House aide to Ronald Reagan and 
Republican Party operative. 

On March 5, 2001, just weeks after George W. Bush's inaugura- 
tion, the conservative Washington lobbying group Judicial Watch 
issued a press release. It said: 

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm 
that investigates and prosecutes government abuse and corrup- 
tion, called on former President George Herbert Walker Bush to 
resign immediately from the Carlyle Group, a private invest- 
ment firm, while his son President George W. Bush is in office. 
Today's New York Times reported that the elder Bush is an 



130 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



'ambassador' for the $12 billion private investment firm and last 
year traveled to the Middle East on its behalf. The former pres- 
ident also helped the firm in South Korea. 

The New York Times reported that as compensation, the 
elder Bush is allowed to buy a stake in the Carlyle Group's 
investments, which include ownership in at least 164 companies 
throughout the world (thereby by giving the current president 
an indirect benefit). James Baker, the former Secretary of State 
who served as President George W. Bush's point man in Florida's 
election dispute, is a partner in the firm. The firm also gave 
George W. Bush help in the early 1990s when it placed him on 
one of its subsidiary's board of directors. 

"This is simply inappropriate. Former President Bush should 
immediately resign from the Carlyle Group because it is an 
obvious conflict of interest. Any foreign government or foreign 
investor trying to curry favor with the current Bush administra- 
tion is sure to throw business to the Carlyle Group. And with 
the former President Bush promoting the firm's investments 
abroad, foreign nationals could understandably confuse the 
Carlyle Group's interests with the interests of the United States 
government," stated Larry Klayman, Judicial Watch Chairman 
and General Counsel. 

"Questions are now bound to be raised if the recent Bush 
administration change in policy towards Iraq has the finger- 
prints of the Carlyle Group, which is trying to gain investments 
from other Arab countries who would presumably benefit from 
the new policy," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. 

Judicial Watch noted that "even the Clinton administration called on 
the Rodham brothers to stop their business dealings in [the former 
Soviet Republic of] Georgia because those dealings started to destabi- 
lize that country." 

Since the WTC attacks, the Wall Street Journal has reported 
(September 28, 2001) that, "George H. W. Bush, the father of President 
Bush, works for the bin Laden family business in Saudi Arabia through 
the Carlyle Group, an international consulting firm." The senior Bush 
had met with the bin Laden family at least twice in the last three years 
(1998 and 2000) as a representative of Carlyle, seeking to expand 
business dealings with one of the wealthiest Saudi families, which, 
some experts argue, has never fully severed its ties with black sheep 
Osama in spite of current reports in a mainstream press that is afraid 
of offending the current administration. 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 131 

The Nation, on March 27, 2000 — in a story co-authored by 
David Corn and Paul Lashma — wrote, "In January former President 
George Bush and former British Prime Minister John Major paid a 
social call on Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdullah . . . . " This story 
confirms at least one meeting between the elder Bush and Saudi lead- 
ers, including the bin Ladens. That the bin Ladens attended this 
meeting was confirmed in a subsequent September 27, 2001, Wall 
Street Journal (WSJ) story. The January 2000 meeting with the bin 
Ladens was also later confirmed by Bush (the elder's) Chief of Staff 
Jean Becker, only after the WSJ presented her with a thank-you note 
sent by Bush to the bin Ladens after that meeting. 

James Baker visited the bin Ladens in 1998 and 1999 with [then] 
Carlyle CEO Frank Carlucci. 

The WSJ story went on to note, "A Carlyle executive said that the 
bin Laden family committed $2 million through a London invest- 
ment arm in 1995 in Carlyle Partners II Fund, which raised $1.3 
billion overall. The fund has purchased several aerospace companies 
among 29 deals. So far, the family has received $1.3 million back in 
completed investments and should ultimately realize a 40 percent 
annualized rate of return, the Carlyle executive said. 

"But a foreign financier with ties to the bin Laden family says the 
family's overall investment with Carlyle is considerably larger In 
other words, Osama bin Laden's attacks on the WTC and Pentagon, 
with the resulting massive increase in the US defense budget, have just 
made his family a great big pile of money. 

More Bush connections appear in relation to the bin Ladens. The 
WSJ story also notes, "During the past several years, the [bin Laden] 
family's close ties to the Saudi royal family prompted executives and 
staff from closely held New York publisher Forbes, Inc. to make two 
trips to the family headquarters, according to Forbes Chairman 
Caspar Weinberger, a former US Secretary of Defense in the Reagan 
administration. 'We would call on them to get their view of the coun- 
try and what would be of interest to investors.'" 

President G. H. W. Bush pardoned Weinberger for his criminal 
conduct in the Iran-Contra scandal in 1989. 

Our current President, George W. Bush, has also had — at mini- 
mum — indirect dealings with both Carlyle and the bin Ladens. In 
1976 his firm Arbusto Energy was funded with $50,000 from Texas 
investment banker James R. Bath, who was also the US investment 
counselor for the bin Laden family. In his watershed 1992 book, The 
Mafia, the CIA and George Bush, award-winning Texas investigative 
journalist Pete Brewton dug deeply into Bath's background, revealing 



132 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



connections with the CIA and major fraudulent activities connected 
with the Savings & Loan scandal that took $500 billion out of the 
pockets of American taxpayers. A long-time friend of George W. 
Bush, Bath was connected to a number of covert financing operations 
in the Iran-Contra scandal, which also linked to bin Laden friend 
Adnan Khashoggi. One of the richest men in the world, Khashoggi 
was the arms merchant at the center of the whole Iran-Contra scan- 
dal. Khashoggi, whose connections to the bin Ladens is more than 
superficial, got his first business break by acting as middleman for a 
large truck purchase by Osama bin Laden's older brother, Salem. 

Another key player in the Bush administration, Deputy Secretary 
of Defense Richard Armitage, left his post as an assistant secretary of 
defense in the Reagan administration after a series of scandals con- 
nected to CIA operatives Ed Wilson, Ted Shackley, Richard Secord, 
and Tom Clines placed him at the brink of criminal indictment and 
jail. Shackley and Secord are veterans of Vietnam operations and have 
long been linked to opium/heroin smuggling. The Armitage scandals 
all focused on the illegal provision of weapons and war materiel to 
potential or actual enemies of the US and to the Contras in Central 
America. 

Armitage, [allegedly] a former Navy SEAL who reportedly enjoyed 
combat missions and killing during covert operations in Laos during 
the Vietnam War, has never been far from the Bush family's side. 
Throughout his career, both in and out of government, he has been 
perpetually connected to CIA drug smuggling operations. Secretary of 
State Colin Powell, in a 1995 Washington Post story, called Armitage, 
"my white son." In 1990, then President Bush dispatched Armitage to 
Russia to aid in its "transition" to capitalism. Armitage's Russian work 
for Bush has been frequently connected to the explosion of drug traf- 
ficking under the Russian Mafias who became virtual rulers of the 
nation afterwards. In the early 1990s Armitage had extensive involve- 
ment in Albania at the same time that the Albanian ally, Kosovo 
Liberation Army, was coming to power and consolidating its grip, 
according to the Christian Science Monitor, on 70 percent of the hero- 
in entering Western Europe. 23 

Armitage and Carlucci are both board members of the influential 
Washington think-tank, the Middle East Policy Council. [This is the 
same Middle East Policy Council that receives funding from the bin 
Laden family] 

According to a 2000 story from Harper's Magazine, in 1990 our 
current president had additional connections to the bin Laden family 
through a position as a corporate director of Caterair, owned by the 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 133 

Carlyle Group — at a time when the bin Ladens were invested in 
Carlyle. On March 1, 1995, when George W. Bush was Texas gover- 
nor and a senior trustee of the University of Texas, its endowment 
voted to place $10 million in investments with the Carlyle Group. As 
to how much of that money went to the bin Ladens, we can only 
guess. But we do know that there is a long tradition in the Bush fam- 
ily of giving money to those who kill Americans. 24 

In January 2000 it was announced that Louis Gerstner, outgoing IBM chair- 
man, had replaced Frank Carlucci as chairman of the Carlyle Group. 

Bin Laden special services 

Paul Thompson's timeline reveals what may be long-standing covert relationships 
between the bin Ladens and the Bushes. 

Covert operations 

October 1980: Salem bin Laden, Osama's eldest brother, is later 
described by a French secret intelligence report as one of the two clos- 
est friends of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd. As such, he often performs 
important missions for Saudi Arabia. The French report speculates 
that he is somehow involved in secret Paris meetings between US and 
Iranian emissaries this month. Frontline, which published the French 
report, notes that such meetings have never been confirmed. Rumors 
of these meetings have been called the "October Surprise" and some 
have speculated Bush Sr. negotiated in these meetings a delay of the 
release of the US hostages in Iran, thus helping Reagan and Bush win 
the presidency. All of this is highly speculative, but if the French 
report is correct, it points to a long-standing connection of highly ille- 
gal behavior between the Bush and bin Laden families. [PBS Frontline, 
2001] « 

Salem, the same bin Laden who was to turn over US control of US bin Laden 
family finances to George W.'s friend and Air National Guard squadron-mate, 
James Bath, in the early 1980s, also turns up again in Iran-Contra. 

Mid-1980s: It is later suggested that Salem bin Laden, Osama's eldest 
brother, is involved in the Iran-Contra affair. The New Yorker reports, 
"During the nineteen-eighties, when the Reagan administration 
secretly arranged for an estimated thirty-four million dollars to be 
funneled through Saudi Arabia to the Contras, in Nicaragua, Salem 
bin Laden aided in this cause, according to French intelligence." New 
Yorker is obviously quoting the same French report posted by Frontline 
(see October, 1980). [New Yorker, 11/5/01; Frontline, 2001] 2S 



134 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

George W.'s wallet 

Several bin Ladens turn up in the business life of President George W. Bush. 

1988: Prior to this year, George Bush Jr. is a failed oil man. Three 
times friends and investors have bailed him out to keep him from 
going bankrupt. But in this year, the same year his father becomes 
president, some Saudis buy a portion of his small company, Harken, 
which has never worked outside of Texas. Later in the year, Harken 
wins a contract in the Persian Gulf and starts doing well financially. 
These transactions seem so suspicious that even the Wall Street Journal 
in 1991 states it "raises the question of ... an effort to cozy up to a 
presidential son." Two major investors into Bush's company during 
this time are Salem bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's father, and Khaled 
bin Mahfouz. [Salon, 11/19/01; Intelligence Newsletter, 3/2/00] 27 

We could devote a whole chapter to Harken Energy. As the corporate scandals 
of 2002 rocked the American financial landscape, a number of stories surfaced 
showing that George W. Bush had knowingly participated in a huge "pump and 
dump" scheme with Harken stock just before its collapse in 1991. Apart from its 
smaller scale, this is strikingly similar to the Enron debacle of a decade later. But 
in light of the fact that none of the evidence that surfaced in 2002 (including SEC 
records and statements) had even the slightest impact on the course of American 
history or the election of 2002, I see no point in delving deeper into that episode 
here. Harken energy is just another little piece that fits nicely into the broader 
landscape of that map. 

Kosovo and the Balkans 

Osama bin Laden's connections to, and service for, the CIA did not end when the 
Russians departed Afghanistan prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union. In fact, a 
compelling trail of evidence shows that the US has maintained continuous ties to 
al Qaeda, bin Laden, and other Islamic terror organizations to this day. Much of 
this evidence is found in the recent history of the Balkans, especially in the robust 
American involvement with the Kosovo Liberation Army. 

Since 9/11 few have accomplished as much as Professor Michel Chossudovsky 
of the University of Ottawa in exposing the deceitfulness of US government state- 
ments about Osama bin Laden. In 1998 the United States openly sided with the 
Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), then responsible for 70 percent of the heroin 
smuggled into Western Europe, in a war against another useful US-manufactured 
bogeyman, Slobodan Milosevic. And it is there, Chossudovsky tells us, that bin 
Laden footprints appear again. After examining 21 different source records — 
including US congressional records and reports by the Republican Party — he 
found direct links between Osama and the CIA: 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 13S 



The evidence amply confirms that the CIA never severed its ties to the 
"Islamic Militant Network." Since the end of the Cold War, these 
covert intelligence links have not only been maintained, they have 
become increasingly sophisticated. 

New undercover initiatives financed by the Golden Crescent drug 
trade were set in motion in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the 
Balkans. Pakistan's military and intelligence apparatus (controlled by 
the CIA) essentially "served as a catalyst for the disintegration of the 
Soviet Union and the emergence of six new Muslim republics in 
Central Asia..." 

The same pattern was used in the Balkans to arm and equip the 
Mujahideen fighting in the ranks of the Bosnian Muslim army against 
the Armed Forces of the Yugoslav Federation. Throughout the 1990s, 
the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was used by the CIA as a 
go-between — to channel weapons and Mujahideen mercenaries to 
the Bosnian Muslim Army in the civil war in Yugoslavia. According 
to a report of the London based International Media Corporation: 
"Reliable sources report that the United States is now [1994] actively 
participating in the arming and training of the Muslim forces of 
Bosnia-Herzegovina in direct contravention of the United Nations 
accords." 28 

Chossudovsky next draws the handcuffs tighter around the wrists of both bin 
Laden and the CIA: 

During September and October [1994], there has been a stream of 
"Afghan" Mujahideen ...covertly landed in Ploce, Croatia .... 
Confirmed by British military sources, the task of arming and train- 
ing of the KLA had been entrusted in 1998 to the US Defence 
Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Britain's secret intelligence service 
MI6 .... Bin Laden had visited Albania himself .... It is important to 
note that the KLA was basically an Albanian ethnic Army and that it 
has been documented that Albanian organized crime elements are 
both powerful and well respected in the region, even by their Italian 
counterparts. Also, remember that it was heroin grown in 
Afghanistan that was passing through the KLA's hands that was fund- 
ing a great many Islamic terrorist organizations all over Europe and 
Asia. 29 

Chossudovsky documented that some of bin Laden's most trusted operatives 
even participated in the fighting. "Another link to bin Laden is the fact that the 
brother of a leader in an Egyptian jihad organization and also a military com- 
mander of Osama bin Laden, was leading an elite KLA unit during the Kosovo 
conflict." 30 



136 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Further corroboration came in a May 1999 story in the Washington Times. 
Citing intelligence reports presumably obtained from US agencies, reporter Jerry 
Seper wrote: 

The intelligence reports document what is described as a "link" 
between bin Laden, the fugitive Saudi including a common staging 
area in Tropoje, Albania, a center for Islamic terrorists. The reports 
said bin Laden's organization, known as al Qaeda, has both trained 
and financially supported the KLA .... 

Jane's International Defense Review, a highly respected British 
Journal, reported in February that documents found last year on the 
body of a KLA member showed that he had escorted several volun- 
teers into Kosovo, including more than a dozen Saudi Arabians. 31 

It is important to remember that the NATO commander in charge of all oper- 
ations in the region was 2003-2004 Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley Clark 
at a time when NATO was supporting the KLA. 

Chechnya 

One 9/11 researcher drew compelling links between Osama bin Laden and 
Chechnya, where Muslim separatists remain a formidable thorn in the side of 
Russian President Vladimir Putin: 

In his 28 September interview [with a pro-Taliban newspaper], bin 
Laden is quoted as follows: "I can go from Indonesia to Algeria, Kabul 
to Chechnya, Bosnia to Sudan, and Burma to Kashmir," he said. 
"This is not a question of my survival. This is the question of the sur- 
vival of jihad (holy war)." 

"Wherever required, I will be there." 

This amounts to a confession that bin Laden has been involved 
with the very terrorists that the US has sponsored, for example in 
Chechnya, Bosnia, Macedonia, Algeria, and Indonesia, and also with 
the KLA whom the US government has sponsored in attacking 
Serbia. 32 

Chossudovsky again expanded on and illuminated the secret and mutually ben- 
eficial relationship between Osama bin Laden and the CIA: 

With regard to Chechnya, the main rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and 
Al Khattab were trained and indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps 
in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Yossef Bodansky, director 
of the US Congress's Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional 
Warfare, the war in Chechnya had been planned during a secret sum- 
mit of Hezbollah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 137 



The summit was attended by Osama bin Laden and high-ranking 
Iranian and Pakistani intelligence officers. In this regard, the involve- 
ment of Pakistan's ISI in Chechnya "goes far beyond supplying the 
Chechens with weapons and expertise: the ISI and its radical Islamic 
proxies are actually calling the shots in this war." 

Russia's main pipeline route transits through Chechnya and 
Dagestan. Despite Washington's perfunctory condemnation of 
Islamic terrorism, the indirect beneficiaries of the Chechen war are 
the Anglo-American oil conglomerates which are vying for control 
over oil resources and pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin. 

The two main Chechen rebel armies (respectively led by 
Commander Shamil Basayev and Emir Khattab) estimated at 35,000 
strong were supported by Pakistan's ISI, which also played a key role 
in organizing and training the Chechen rebel army[emphasis 
added]. 33 

On Her Majesty's Secret Service 

Great Britain — one of the major players supporting the KLA in Kosovo — also 
maintained secret relationships with bin Laden and al Qaeda that served its inter- 
ests. In 1996 Britain's exterior intelligence service, MI6, actually funded and 
worked with al Qaeda in a plot to assassinate and overthrow Libya's Muammar 
Qaddafy. Details of the relationship emerged after a British domestic intelligence 
(MI5) officer, David Shayler, went public with documents detailing the relation- 
ship between Britain and bin Laden. 

In November, 2002 — and in the wake of 9/1 1 — as Shayler's trial brought the 
case to public attention, the British government invoked measures of the State 
Security Act to hide embarrassing information. The government's efforts even went 
so far as the issuance of a "D" notice by Prime Minister Tony Blair requiring that 
previously published news stories on the case be withdrawn and removed from 
public websites. A remaining story in Britain's Observer suggests the degree to 
which the British (and indeed, the US) government is exposed by the facts' emer- 
gence. It reported, "The Libyan al Qaeda cell included Anas al-Liby, who remains 
on the US government's most-wanted list with a reward of $25 million for his cap- 
ture. He is wanted for his involvement in the African embassy bombings. Al-Liby 
was with bin Laden in Sudan before the latter returned to Afghanistan in 1996. 

Astonishingly, despite suspicions that he was a high-level al Qaeda 
operative, [Anas] al-Liby was given political asylum in Britain and 
lived in Manchester until May of 2000 when he eluded a police raid 
on his house and fled abroad. The raid discovered a 180-page al 
Qaeda "manual for jihad" containing instructions for terrorist 
attacks. 34 



138 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Much of the information revealed by Shayler, who has reportedly been sen- 
tenced to six months for violating secrecy oaths, was confirmed by French authors 
Brisard and Dasquie, who noted in Forbidden Truth that the first real Interpol 
wanted notice for Osama bin Laden came not from the US but from another so- 
called terrorist leader, Muammar Qaddafy, in 1994. At the time, bin Laden was 
wanted for the murder of two German intelligence agents in Libya, and Qaddafy s 
actions suggested that he had found common ground with some Western govern- 
ments on the issue of Saudi Arabia's most wanted son. 

Since the attacks of 9/ 1 1 Libya has rarely been mentioned as a state sponsor of 
terrorism and has recently "cleaned up its act" as US oil companies have secured 
new Libyan contracts. Qaddafy, the terrorist dujour of the 1980s, is now respectable. 

All this seemingly nonsensical behavior, rendering more incredible the now dis- 
credited US charges that Saddam Hussein was an ally of Osama bin Laden, is 
explained by information given to me by an influential investment banker shortly 
after the attacks of 9/11. That information indicated that Qaddafy had recently 
signed an oil lease with Texas oil magnates Nelson and Bunker Hunt, good friends 
of the Bush family. 

Britain's dealings with Osama bin Laden have extended to allowing him to visit 
their country while he was a wanted man. As I noted in 1998, "the French Internet 
publication Indigo reported that bin Laden had been a London guest of British 
Intelligence as recently as 1996, and his treasurer recently defected to the Saudis as 
different factions shifted alliances for new campaigns in the Middle East. If Osama 
travels to London and has businesses in the Caymans and Geneva, how difficult 
can he be to find?" 35 

Unsurprisingly, a November 2002 UPI story by Arnaud de Borchgrave indi- 
cated not only that the Pakistani ISI had helped Osama bin Laden escape from 
Afghanistan but also that the American government had deliberately paid little 
attention to offers from an Afghan warlord to pinpoint and capture the alleged 
mastermind of 9/11. De Borchgrave reported that Deputy Secretary of Defense 
Paul Wolfowitz took down the name of the warlord — who had communicated 
directly with the reporter — and promised to look into the matter, and that noth- 
ing ever came of it. De Borchgrave became frustrated. 

Could it be that the intelligence community, already overburdened by 
the requirements of the coming war on Iraq and the war on terror, is 
not too interested in a 'we've got Osama alive' melodrama that might 
detract from the current 'get Hussein' priority objective? 36 

While de Borchgrave worried about terror attacks if bin Laden were captured, 
I chuckled at the thought of frightened officials in Washington worrying over the 
possibility that bin Laden might one day talk. 

With this perspective it is possible to take a rational look at the actual state of 
affairs in Saudi Arabia in light of the controversy over the 28 censored pages of the 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 139 



House-Senate 9/11 intelligence report that reportedly focus on it. George W. Bush 
refuses to declassify this section of the report while what are reported to be its con- 
tents are conveniently leaked throughout the mainstream American press. I tend 
to think that the 28 pages, as originally reported, have more to do with advance 
warnings of the attacks from foreign governments than they do with Saudi Arabia. 

One must remember that Saudi Arabia is the ultimate prize in the war for oil. 
That's because, to paraphrase convicted bank robber Willie Horton, "It's where the 
oil is." 

Excerpted and updated from the August 2002 issue of From The Wilderness: 
Saudi Arabia: The Sarajevo of the 21 st Century 

• Is Iraq a Diversion from the Real Invasion or Will Bush 
Try to Occupy Both Countries at Once? 

• A Saudi Sarajevo? 

The global horrors of World War I ("the war to end all wars") 
began with the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in 
Sarajevo in 1914. The apocalyptic war of the 21 st century may have 
begun with a $1 trillion lawsuit filed in the United States by 9/1 1 vic- 
tims' families against Saudi Arabian banks and members of the Saudi 
royal family. In what may be the opening salvos of a financial and 
energy apocalypse, the Financial Times reported that wealthy Saudi 
investors had begun a run on their US banking deposits that may have 
taken as much as $200 billion out of US banks. These massive with- 
drawals — carved off of an estimated $750 billion total in Saudi US 
investments — occurred within days of the August 15 filing of the 
suit. Ironically, the principal attorneys in the suit are all political insid- 
ers; one of them is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 
You might think they would have thought of this beforehand. 

There are two basic questions to ask about Saudi Arabia. Why was 
Saudi Arabia not a focus of US action and serious media attention in 
the immediate aftermath of September 11, even though there were so 
many obvious connections? And why is Saudi Arabia now so promi- 
nently a focus of what is apparently government-approved US 
animosity? One thing is obvious: the deployment of US military per- 
sonnel in the region for the invasion of Iraq is also a convenient 
placement of resources for what may be a one-two punch to take over 
a tottering kingdom that owns 25 percent of all the oil on the planet 
at the same time that Saddam Hussein is removed from power in a 
country that controls another 1 1 percent. Together, the two countries 
— which appear not to have peaked in production capacity just yet, 
and which are the only two nations capable of an immediate increase 
in output — possess 36 percent of the world's known oil. [FTW 



140 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

became the first news service to report on the possibility of Saudi 
Arabia's having peaked in May 2003. This was more than a year before 
the possibility was raised in the New York Times.] 

The Saudi situation is complicated by much of Saudi Arabia's 
wealth being invested in US financial markets; its sudden loss could 
devastate the US economy. But Bush brinksmanship — an under- 
statement — is making possible a scenario where Saudis long loyal to 
the US markets cut off their own arm in a coyote-like effort to free 
themselves from a trap that threatens the stability both of their king- 
dom and of the global economy. 

Osama bin Laden is a Saudi. Fifteen of the 9/11 hijackers [accord- 
ing to their passports] were Saudi. There has been an obvious and 
clear financial trail showing Saudi support for al Qaeda. In fact, as has 
recently been noted by French author and former intelligence officer 
Jean-Charles Brisard in his Forbidden Truth, the financial support net- 
work of al Qaeda is a virtual cut-and-paste reincarnation of BCCI, a 
Pakistani bank known for terrorist, drug, and CIA connections in the 
1980s. One of BCCI's former executives, Khaled bin Mahfouz, 
remains the banker for the Saudi royal family today. 

After months of strenuous and repeated assertions by the Bush 
administration that Saudi Arabia was a key ally in the war on terror, 
that they were loyal and trusted partners in US-led efforts, someone 
has suddenly turned on the tap for anti-Saudi propaganda, and the 
mainstream media outlets are eating it up. 

On June 20 [2002] the Jang group of newspapers in Dubai report- 
ed that al Qaeda networks were active in Saudi Arabia. This followed 
a June 1 8 announcement that a group linked to al Qaeda had been 
arrested inside the kingdom and charged with planning attacks on 
Saudi government installations. 

On July 18 the BBC reported that Saudi Prince Nayef bin Sultan 
bin Fawwaz Al-Shaalan had been indicted by a Miami court on 
charges of having smuggled 1,980 kilos of cocaine on his private jet in 
1999. 

On July 28, Britain's Observer released a story that quickly spread 
around the world. It was headlined, "Britons left in jail amid fears that 
Saudi Arabia could fall to al Qaeda." The lead paragraphs read, "Saudi 
Arabia is teetering on the brink of collapse, fuelling Foreign Office 
fears of an extremist takeover of one of the West's key allies in the war 
on terror." 

Anti-government demonstrations have swept the desert 
kingdom in the past months in protest at the pro-American 
stance of the de facto ruler, Prince Abdullah. 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 141 

At the same time, Whitehall officials are concerned that 
Abdullah could face a palace coup from elements within the 
royal family sympathetic to al Qaeda. 

Saudi sources said the Pentagon had recently sponsored a 
secret conference to look at options if the royal family fell .... 

Anti-Abdullah elements within the Saudi government are 
also thought to have colluded in a wave of bomb attacks on 
Western targets by Islamic terrorists. 37 

After finally mentioning the apparently unimportant subject of the 
headline — the fact that several Britons had been jailed on bootleg- 
ging charges — the story concluded with the statement that feuding 
between factions in the Saudi court was going to increase with the 
death of King Fahd who was unstable in a Swiss hospital. 

The story ended by quoting Saudi dissident Dr. Saad al-Fagih who 
declared, "There is now an undeclared war between the factions in the 
Saudi royal family. " 

On the same day a lengthy essay on Saudi Arabia in the Asia Times 
by Ehsan Ahrari observed, "It is interesting to note that [Prince] 
Sultan is believed to be a preferred US candidate for the Saudi 
throne." Abdullah is the crown prince, not Sultan. 

On July 29 Strafor, an intelligence reporting and analysis service, 
reported that a feud was brewing between Saudi Arabia and neigh- 
boring Qatar over Qatar's willingness to openly support the US 
invasion of Iraq. Qatar is nearly sinking under the weight of pre- 
deployed military equipment and has a brand new state-of-the-art US 
Air Force Base. 

On July 30 the suggestions that internecine warfare had erupted 
in Saudi Arabia were given credence by an Agence France Presse report 
describing the recent deaths of three Saudi princes in eight days. 
Prince Fahd bin Turki died of thirst in the desert on July 30. Prince 
Sultan bin Faisal died in a car crash on July 23, and Prince Ahmed bin 
Salman died the day before of a heart attack. 

On August 1 the World Tribune reported that Saudi Arabia, which 
has been acquiring long-range ballistic missiles had also, according to 
reports confirmed by US officials, been attempting to acquire nuclear 
weapons from Pakistan — which has been well documented to have 
heavy concentrations of al Qaeda supporters within all parts of its 
government. 

On that same day, Saudi dissident Dr. al-Fagih appeared on the 
Australian Broadcasting Corporation program Lateline and offered 
some startling revelations: 



142 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Prince Abdullah who is supposed to be the next in charge, 
the next King, would not accept to appoint Prince Sultan as 
Crown Prince, and Prince Sultan insists that he should be the 
next in line for Abdullah to be [king] . 

Al-Fagih predicted the imminent death of the ailing King 
Fahd and noted, "That's why probably the foreign office have [sic] 
expected some major thing happening in the next few weeks .... 

"I mean, Prince Abdullah is in charge of the national guard, 
and Prince Sultan is in charge of the army, and either one will 
use his own force to fight the other to fight for power. Now they 
will use all elements of the population, of the society ..." 
[including a large portion of the population that supports al 
Qaeda and radical Islamic fundamentalism]. 

Al-Fagih said that there was a psychological barrier in the country 
because all information is so thoroughly controlled, and the regime 
maintains the appearance of complete control. Almost all Saudis dislike 
the corrupt regime for a multitude of differing reasons. But, said the 
medical doctor who once served with Osama bin Laden in the Afghan 
war against Soviet occupation, "Once this psychological barrier is bro- 
ken, either by a dispute of the royal family, or by a financial collapse, 
you would expect a major act by the people against the regime." 

Al-Fagih also noted that in general the dislike of the Saudi people 
for the US was intense because of its unremitting support of Israel and 
also because the US had maintained a military presence on Saudi soil 
long after the end of the Gulf War. 

Just five days later on August 6, the Washington Post reported that 
a month earlier on July 10, a top Pentagon advisory group had 
received a briefing from Rand Corp. analyst Laurent Murawiec 
describing Saudi Arabia as an enemy of the US and threatening 
seizure of its oil fields and financial assets if it did not stop supporting 
terrorism. The Pentagon group that received the briefing, the Defense 
Policy Board, is headed by renowned hawk Richard Perle. [Perle 
resigned from the board in February 2004 amidst growing controver- 
sy over his hawkish views and personal financial relations with firms 
seeking government contracts.] Although high-level Bush administra- 
tion figures like Colin Powell downplayed the briefing's significance, 
it received heavy-handed media play for several days. Subsequent 
reports stated that Vice President Dick Cheney's staff had "embraced" 
the report. 

On August 7 Saudi Arabia made clear and unequivocal public 
pronouncements that it would not allow its soil to be used for an inva- 
sion of Iraq. 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 143 

On August 14 Reuters reported that King Fahd, who had just 
been moved to Spain, was in failing health and possibly near death. 

On August 15 amid massive daylong publicity, a 15-count, $1 tril- 
lion lawsuit was filed against various Saudi interests for liability in the 
9/11 attacks. Included among the defendants were the Saudi Binladin 
Group of companies (previously connected through the Carlyle Group 
to Bush family finances), three Saudi princes, seven banks, eight Islamic 
foundations, a number of charities, and the government of Sudan. 

The three Saudi princes are Turki Faisal al Saud, Prince Sultan bin 
Abdul Aziz (same as above), and Prince Mohamed al-Faisal. 

This new suit eclipsed three earlier suits, largely ignored by the 
major media, filed by victim families charging various degrees of lia- 
bility and/or complicity by the US government. The key lawyers in 
the case have a history of close affiliation with the Republican Party, 
the Bush family, and/or the Council on Foreign Relations. Media cov- 
erage of the suits continued through the weekend ending August 18. 

What gives? 
Following The Money 

The instability in Saudi Arabia may well be just the end result of 
internal decay and rot. But the consequences and implications of 
Saudi Arabia's current crisis are deeper once one examines the finan- 
cial threat that Saudi chaos might unleash. 

Like that of the United States, the Saudi economy is in tatters, and 
like the US economy it needs only one thing to keep it afloat — cash. 
Saudi Arabia, for all of its wealth, actually began borrowing money to 
meet budget deficits and finance economic development in 1993. 38 It 
says something about the level of corruption that a nation with as 
much wealth and income as Saudi Arabia found its treasury running 
low. Yes, oil prices change things. But the implication is that the Saudi 
elites are lining their own pockets to the detriment of the long-term 
financial stability of their country — as happens in the United States, 
it seems. 

The Saudi government rightly fears US military success in Iraq. A 
first inevitable consequence would be serious anti-American protests 
from the Saudi population. The second inevitable consequence would 
be an almost immediate increase in Iraqi oil production, [Iraq's out- 
of-control insurgency and the continuing sabotage of infrastructure 
have prevented this], generating a price reduction that might break 
the back of OPEC and dramatically reduce oil income. Seeing that 
the US economy is on the brink of collapse, the Bush administration, 
facing a potentially disastrous 2004 presidential election, must do 
whatever it takes to keep itself in power. For this administration, so 



144 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

predominantly populated by oil men (and woman), cheap oil is the 
obvious first choice; in other words, oil is not only the actual issue, it's 
also the one to which the public relations and electioneering skills of 
this particular regime gravitate in the face of electoral trouble. By 
focusing their policy efforts on the energy issue — while pursuing a 
profligate, oil-dependent, war-driven future — they are addressing 
exactly the right thing in the most wrong way possible. Without sig- 
nificant capital investment in any alternatives, oil remains king. 
Where the oil is, there will be war. 

Saudi Arabia seems to have seen this coming for some time. In 
April 2002 the Saudi government announced that it was considering 
privatizing parts of Aramco, the Saudi national oil company, and sell- 
ing off some of Aramco's operations to Exxon, BP-Amoco, Shell, and 
other major companies. Though little has been disclosed since the 
early announcements, this move would benefit the Saudis in two big 
ways. First, it would give Western companies an equity stake in the 
stability of the monarchy, making it difficult for the US to consider 
bombing or imposing embargos upon operations owned by Western 
companies. Secondly, it would generate large amounts of cash to off- 
set declining economic growth, rising unemployment, and declining 
per capita income, according to Stratfor on April 29, 2002. 

The oil-based standoff is mirrored by what is effectively a much 
more successful financial deterrent — the Saudis' ability to wreck the 
US financial markets should they see their situation become utterly 
desperate. 

Owning the American Dream 

It is impossible to quantify exactly the Saudi holdings in the US econ- 
omy. But anecdotal evidence is compelling. The New York Times 
reported on August 1 1 , "An adviser to the Saudi royal family made a 
telling point about Saudi elites. He said an estimated $600 billion to 
$700 billion in Saudi money was invested outside the kingdom, a vast 
majority of it in the United States or in United States-related invest- 
ments." The BBC has estimated Saudi US investment at $750 billion. 

Adnan Khashoggi, perhaps the best-known Saudi billionaire, con- 
trols his investments through Ultimate Holdings Ltd. and in Genesis 
Intermedia, which was reported to have been connected to suspicious 
stock trades around the time of the September 1 1 attacks. (No link- 
age has been made between these trades and the attacks themselves). 
The rest of his private US holdings are administered through his 
daughter's name from offices in Tampa, Florida, not far from where 
many of the hijackers received flight training at both private schools 
and US military installations. 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 145 



Khashoggi is a longtime financial player, deeply connected to the 
Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s and also to BCCI. But Khashoggi 
doesn't even make the Forbes list of the richest people in the world. 
One Saudi who does is Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, who ranks as the 
fourth richest man on the planet with an estimated net worth of 
$21.5 billion (Alwaleed is also an investor in and reported client of 
the Carlyle Group). 39 

Some of Alwaleed's holdings and recent acquisitions include: 

• The single largest sharehold in Citigroup, the teetering US 
financial giant, which is reported to have a derivatives bubble 
of more than $12 trillion and has reportedly sought recent 
emergency assistance from the Federal Reserve. Alwaleed's 
shareholding in Citigroup remains near the $10 billion mark. 
The BCCI scandal was not the last instance where the pro- 
hibited foreign ownership of US banks was an issue that 
touched Saudi interests. Prince Alwaleed's heavy stake in 
Citigroup was concealed from 1991 until recently by the 
Carlyle group, which, acting as a virtual cutout, disguised 
Alwaleed's heavy investment in the bank. 40 

• Alwaleed also owns, according to an August 9, 2002 story in the 
Guardian, three percent of the total shares of Newscorp 
(FOX), making him the second-largest shareholder behind 
Rupert Murdoch. 

• Alwaleed's other significant holdings include Apple 
Computer, Priceline, the Four Seasons Hotels, Planet 
Hollywood, Saks, and Euro Disney. 

• Alwaleed also sits on the Carlyle Group's board of directors. 

• Alwaleed alone is in a position to pull the plug on the US 
economy. But, of course, he would cost himself billions to do 
it, and this is not a likely scenario because he has long been a 
pro-democratic US supporter. 

This applies to the rest of Saudi-held assets in the US, just as surely 
as it applies to Alwaleed's. Taken as a whole, the dollar-denominated 
wealth of the Saudi royals is so large that its sudden withdrawal from 
the American economy would be devastating to America. And it 
would entail very serious financial losses for the Saudi investors, who 
would find themselves with a mountain of dollars whose value they 
had just decimated, backed by the full faith and credit of the tooth 
fairy. So the dreaded Saudi money-withdrawal is in nobody's near- 
term interest and it does not happen. It keeps right on not 
happening, and will presumably continue to not happen for a long 
time to come. 



146 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



But this assumes, of course, that the Saudi monarchy remains a 
stable political entity; that the US economy does not implode under 
its own debt-load; that no major, protracted regional conflict occurs; 
and that the US therefore remains the most profitable place for Saudi 
investment. But if the US economy fails? If the Euro becomes stronger 
than the dollar? 

The Bush administration's unilateral and illegal commitment to an 
Iraqi invasion brings all three essentials into question. The August 20 
[2002] report from the Financial Times suggests that the Saudis are, at 
minimum, firing a clear warning shot across the bow of the USS 
"Bush"...v 

Only two points of my analysis have proven incorrect. The now obvious gueril- 
la war in Iraq and the deterioration of Iraqi oil infrastructure have prevented any 
real surge in Iraqi oil production. This fact alone would make Saudi Arabia and 
smaller swing producers in West Africa more important to US short-term needs. 
Second, King Fahd remains on life support in Spain. I can only conclude that his 
death will come at a time more convenient to US objectives, perhaps after the 
inauguration of a new president. 

According to an investment banker in the author's acquaintance who is well 
versed in Middle Eastern and oil finance, two capital streams emerged in the prel- 
ude to the invasion of Iraq. One was a stream of Saudi capital being returned to 
that country from the US. The second was a stream of Saudi flight capital fleeing 
to the US, being sent by an elite group who expected to soon be living here in 
exile, after the fall of the monarchy and the partition of the country. 

Peter Dale Scott, reaching the same conclusions earlier, wrote: 

The kingdom is now a key battlefield in the conflict between America 
and its allies and the forces of extremist Islam. It is a conflict that is 
now threatening to tear Saudi Arabia apart. Revolution is in the air. 

The Western community [in Saudi Arabia] is living in fear. It has 
become the target of a series of bomb attacks, carried out by al Qaeda- 
linked terrorists who want to drive all non-Muslims out of the Arabian 
Peninsula. But the terrified Westerners have received little help from 
the Saudi authorities. 

The US may hope that it can weaken royal support for anti- 
American protests by its war preparations in the Middle East, including 
the timely regrouping of US forces from Saudi Arabia to neighboring 
Qatar. Alternatively, it may have to use them. 42 

Additional entries from the Thompson timeline add the necessary pieces to 
confirm that the movements and activities of Osama bin Laden and his family are 
desired outcomes rather than effects of collective stupidity. 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 147 



1996: FBI investigators are prevented from carrying out an investi- 
gation into two relatives of bin Laden. The FBI wanted to learn more 
about Abdullah bin Laden, "because of his relationship with the 
World Assembly of Muslim Youth [WAMY] — a suspected terrorist 
organization." Abdullah was the US director of WAMY and lived 
with his brother Omar in Falls Church, a town just outside 
Washington. The coding on the document, marked secret, indicate 
the case involved espionage, murder, and national security. WAMY 
has their offices at 5613 Leesburg Pike. Remarkably, four of the 9/11 
hijackers later are listed as having lived at 5913 Leesburg Pike, at the 
same time the two bin Laden brothers were there. WAMY has not 
been put on a list of terrorist organizations in the US, but it has been 
banned in Pakistan. A high-placed intelligence official tells the 
Guardian: "there were always constraints on investigating the Saudis. 
There were particular investigations that were effectively killed." An 
unnamed US source says to the BBC, "There is a hidden agenda at 
the very highest levels of our government." [BBC Newsnight, 
11/6/01; Guardian, 11/7/01] 

July 12, 2001: Bin Laden supposedly meets with CIA agent 
Larry Mitchell in the Dubai hospital on this day, possibly others. 
Mitchell reportedly lives in Dubai as an Arab specialist under the 
cover of being a consular agent. The CIA and the Dubai hospital 
deny the story; Le Figaro and Radio France International stand by 
it. [Le Figaro, 10/31/01; Radio France International, 11/1/01] The 
Guardian claims that the two organizations that broke the story, Le 
Figaro and Radio France International, got their information from 
French intelligence, "which is keen to reveal the ambiguous role of 
the CIA, and to restrain Washington from extending the war to Iraq 
and elsewhere." The Guardian adds that during his stay bin Laden 
is also visited by a second CIA officer, "several members of his fam- 
ily and Saudi personalities," including Prince Turki al Faisal, then 
head of Saudi intelligence. {Guardian, 11/1/01] At the very least, 
doesn't this show bin Laden was never estranged from much of his 
family? 

The story in Le Figaro caused a great international uproar, including fierce per- 
sonal attacks on me for having publicized it. If true, it establishes that just two 
months before 9/11, one of the most wanted men on the planet was exchanging 
information — personally — with CIA personnel. In light of what has been 
revealed in this chapter, one thing can safely be stated with confidence: The his- 
torical context of the relations between the bin Ladens, the Bushes, and US 
economic interests certainly makes the Le Figaro stories plausible. 



148 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

September 13-19, 2001: Members of bin Laden's family and impor- 
tant Saudis are flown out of the US. The New York Times explains, 
"The young members of the bin Laden clan were driven or flown 
under FBI supervision to a secret assembly point in Texas and then to 
Washington from where they left the country on a private charter plane 
when airports reopened three days after the attacks." If you read care- 
fully, note they are flown to Texas and Washington before the national 
air ban is lifted — the fact of flights during this ban is now unfortu- 
nately widely called an urban legend. [New York Times, 9/30/01] There 
have been conflicting reports as to whether the FBI interviewed them 
before they left the country. Osama bin Laden's half brother Abdullah 
bin Laden stated that even a month later his only contact with the FBI 
was a brief phone call. [Boston Globe, 9/21/01; New Yorker, 1 1/5/01] 

It turns out that the flights did occur, and according to former National 
Security aide Richard Clarke, in his testimony before the Kean Commission, the 
orders possibly came from "The White House." 43 

Paul Thompson's timeline adds more details of the special flights: 

September 13, 2001: Confirmation that bin Ladens and Saudis did 
fly during the no-fly ban and left the country before they could be 
properly questioned comes from a Tampa Tribune article. A Lear jet 
takes off from Tampa, Florida, while a ban on all non-military flights 
in the US is still in effect. It carries a Saudi Arabian prince, the son of 
the Saudi defense minister, as well as the son of a Saudi army com- 
mander, and flies to Lexington, Kentucky, where the Saudis own 
racehorses. They then fly a private 747 out of the country. Multiple 
747s with Arabic lettering on their sides are already there, suggesting 
another secret assembly point. Intriguingly, the Tampa flight left from 
a private Raytheon hangar. [Tampa Tribune, 10/5/01] 

October 27, 2001: The bin Laden family divests from the Carlyle 
Group around this time, in light of public controversy surrounding 
the family after the 9/11 attacks. [Washington Post, 10/27/01] 

October 14, 2001: The Boston Herald reports: "Three banks 
allegedly used by Osama bin Laden to distribute money to his global 
terrorism network have well-established ties to a prince in Saudi Arabia's 
royal family, several billionaire Saudi bankers, and the governments of 
Kuwait and Dubai. One of the banks, Al-Shamal Islamic Bank in the 
Sudan, was controlled directly by Osama bin Laden, according to a 
1996 US State Department report." A regional expert states, "I think 
we underestimate bin Laden. He comes from the highest levels of 
Saudi society and he has supporters at all levels of Saudi Arabia." 
[Boston Herald, 10/14/01] 



Business with the Bin Ladens: The Real Saudi Arabia 149 



Two of the three banks referred to above are not included in President George 
W. Bush's crackdown on terrorist financing after the attacks. Both of the banks had 
played financing roles in W.'s Harken energy deals in the region. 44 

A final note on the unwillingness of the US government to take advantage of 
numerous opportunities to neutralize bin Laden: Apparently several of the offers 
came directly from the Taliban. The Village Voice's James Ridgeway wrote: 

[Niece of former CIA Director Richard Helms and Taliban Lobbyist 
Laila] Helms described one incident after another in which, she 
claimed, the Taliban agreed to give up bin Laden to the US, only to 
be rebuffed by the State Department. On one occasion, she said, the 
Taliban agreed to give the US coordinates for his campsite, leaving 
enough time so the Yanks could whack al Qaeda's leader with a mis- 
sile before he moved. The proposal, she claims, was nixed. 45 

Before going to Pakistan let's revisit one of the most important quotes in The 
Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski: 

Two basic steps are thus required: first, to identify the geostrategical- 
ly dynamic Eurasian states that have the power to cause a potentially 
important shift in the international distribution of power and to deci- 
pher the central external goals of their respective political elites and 
the likely consequences of their seeking to attain them; second, to for- 
mulate specific US policies to offset, co-opt, and/or control the above. 46 

As with Russia, the political elites in Saudi Arabia are either created or defined 
by American money and influence. As the US used the Mafia in Russia to desta- 
bilize and neutralize that country, so too it appears it has done in Saudi Arabia 
with al Qaeda. That country, with 25 percent of the oil on the planet, has only 
existed since 1931. What arguable overriding loyalty to their country exists for 
those Saudis whose billions depend upon the Empire? If the performance of the 
Russian oligarchs is any standard, then the malignant Iraq war and the increasingly 
serious stirrings of Islamic protest might lead to a collapse in Saudi Arabia within 
a year or two that would play right into America's hands. Then the biggest prize 
of all will have been safely secured before the world even understands what has 
happened. That prize will be secured whether the Bush regime endures in power 
or not because all the pieces are in place. The only delays as of this writing are the 
2004 presidential election and the US military posture that has been seriously 
weakened as a result of massive Iraqi uprisings and the withdrawal of troops by 
many nations of the Bush coalition who no longer have the stomach for the car- 
nage and the animosity created by US policy in occupied Iraq. 

Skeptics will point to the fact that on April 29, 2003, the Pentagon announced 
that it was beginning to remove American military personnel and aircraft from 
Saudi Arabia to nearby bases in Qatar, Kuwait, and Dubai. They might assert that 



ISO CROSSING THE RUBICON 



this shows that the US has no intention of military action against Saudi Arabia. I 
would contend, on the other hand, that if the kingdom becomes unstable, having 
military resources out of the country, but close enough to launch immediate 
attacks, is a way of protecting them from sabotage or attack if the anti-American 
sentiment felt by most of the Saudi populace is unleashed. That eventuality arrived 
in 2004 as the state department ordered an evacuation of Saudi Arabia, and bombs 
blew apart Saudi police facilities. 

As for Osama bin Laden, he will not be caught or killed until two things hap- 
pen: He has outlived his usefulness as an enemy at a time when the United States 
need no longer fear economic reprisals; and Israel has emerged as the de facto glob- 
al manager of all economic interests in the Middle East. Neither is a certainty. 

As Caesar might say, "It's the way things work." 



CHAPTER 



PROMIS: Controlling the Data 

A year before the attacks of 9/11 FTW completed a major investigation that 
had begun when I was contacted by two members of the Royal Canadian 
Mounted Police's National Security Staff. The focus of that investigation was on 
an almost mythical computer software program that was to later be a part of, and 
connected to, insider trading on 9/1 1; new US government programs peering into 
Americans' private lives; resource management; biological warfare, and also — as 
revealed by FOX news shortly after the attacks — in the hands of Osama bin 
Laden. 

The following story appeared in the September, 2000 Special Edition of From 
The Wilderness, Vol. Ill, no. 7 — edited for length. 

PROMIS 

By 

Michael C. Ruppert 

US journalist Mike Ruppert, a former Los Angeles police officer who 
now runs a website that seeks to expose CIA covert operations, said he 
met with RCMP investigator McDade on Aug. 3 in L.A. Ruppert said 
the RCMP officer was anxious to see documents he received three 
years ago from a shadowy Green Beret named Bill Tyre [sic] detailing 
the sale of rigged PROMIS software to Canada. — The Toronto Star, 
September 4, 2000. 

Only the legends of Excalibur, the sword of invincible power, and 
the Holy Grail, the chalice from which Christ took his wine at the 
Last Supper begin to approach the mysterious aura that has evolved 
in the world of secret intelligence around a computer software pro- 
gram named PROMIS. Created in the 1970s by former National 
Security Agency (NSA) programmer and engineer Bill Hamilton, now 
President of Washington, DCs Inslaw Corporation, PROMIS 
(Prosecutor's Management Information System) crossed a threshold 
in the evolution of computer programming. Working from either 

152 



PROMIS: Controlling the Data 153 



huge mainframe computer systems or smaller networks powered by 
the progenitors of today's PCs, PROMIS, from its first "test drive" a 
quarter-century ago, was able to do one thing that no other program 
had ever been able to do. It was able to simultaneously read and inte- 
grate any number of different computer programs or databases 
simultaneously, regardless of the language in which the original pro- 
grams had been written or the operating system or platforms on 
which that database was then currently installed. [Note: This applied 
only when PROMIS had actually been physically installed on com- 
puter systems.] 

In the mid 1 970s, at least as far as computer programs were con- 
cerned, the "universal translator" of Star Trek had become a reality. 
And the realm of Star Trek is exactly where most of the major media 
would have the general public place the PROMIS story in their 
worldviews. But given the fact that the government of Canada has just 
spent millions of dollars investigating whether or not a special version 
of PROMIS, equipped with a so-called "back door" has compromised 
its national security, one must concede that perhaps the myths sur- 
rounding PROMIS and what has happened to it need to be 
re-evaluated. Myths, by definition, cannot be solved, but facts can be 
understood and integrated. Only a very few people realize how big the 
PROMIS story really is. 

It is difficult to relegate PROMIS to the world of myth and fan- 
tasy when so many tangible things, like the recently acknowledged 
RCMP investigation, make it real. Canadians are not known for being 
wildly emotional types given to sprees. And one must also include the 
previous findings of congressional oversight committees and no less 
than six obvious dead bodies ranging from investigative journalist 
Danny Casolaro in 1991, to a government employee named Alan 
Standorf to British publisher and lifelong Israeli agent Robert 
Maxwell also in 1991, to retired Army CID investigator Bill McCoy 
in 1997, to a father and son named Abernathy in a small northern 
California town named Hercules. The fact that commercial versions of 
PROMIS are now available for sale directly from Inslaw belies the fact 
that some major papers and news organizations instantly and laugh- 
ably use the epithet "conspiracy theorist" to stigmatize anyone who 
discusses it. Fear may be the major obstacle or ingredient in the myth 
surrounding modified and "enhanced" versions of PROMIS that keeps 
researchers from fully pursuing leads rising in its wake. I was validated 
in this theory on September 23 rd in a conversation with FTW 
Contributing Editor Peter Dale Scott, PhD, a professor emeritus at 
UC Berkeley and noted author. Scott, upon hearing of the details of my 



1 54 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

involvement, frankly told me that PROMIS frightened him. Casolaro, 
who was found dead in a West Virginia motel room in 1991, had Scott's 
name (Scott is also a Canadian) in a list of people to contact about his 
PROMIS findings. He never got that far. 

A close examination of the PROMIS saga actually leads to more 
than a dozen deaths that may well be why so many people avoid it. 
And many of those deaths share in common a pattern where, within 
48 hours of death, bodies are cremated, residences are sanitized, and 
all files disappear. This was certainly the case with my friend Bill 
McCoy, a legendary retired army CID investigator who was also the 
principal investigator for Hamilton in his quest to recover what may 
be hundreds of millions in lost royalties and to reunite him with the 
evolved progeny of his brainchild. Those progeny now have names 
like SMART (Self Managing Artificial Reasoning Technology) and 
TECH. I will never forget hearing of McCoy's death and his immedi- 
ate cremation. 

In researching this story I found a starkly recurring theme. It 
appeared first in a recent statement I tape-recorded from probably one 
of the three best-informed open sources on the story in the world, 
William Tyree. I also came across the same theme, almost verbatim, in 
a research paper that I discovered while following leads from other 
sources. 

The information from Tyree, recorded in a phone conversation on 
August 28, 2000 and the research work on "block-modeling" social 
research theory uncovered while researching other leads both describe 
the same unique position or vantage point from hypothetical and 
actual perspectives. Tyree described an actual physical point in space, 
further out than ever thought possible and now used by US satellites. 
This distance is made possible by PROMIS progeny so evolved that 
they make the original software look primitive. The social research, 
which included pioneering mathematical work — apparently facili- 
tating the creation of artificial intelligence — postulated that a similar 
remote hypothetical position would eliminate randomness from all 
human activity. Everything would be visible in terms of measurable 
and predictable patterns — the ultimate big picture. Just one of the 
key websites where I found this information is located at 
<http://web.syr.edu/-bvmarten/socialnet.html>. 

One of FTW's guiding principles is our incessant drive to separate 
that which is important from that which is merely true. 

What would you do if you possessed software that could think, 
understand every major language in the world, that provided peep- 
holes into everyone else's computer "dressing rooms," that could insert 



PROMIS: Controlling the Data 155 



data into computers without people's knowledge, that could fill in 
blanks beyond human reasoning, and also predict what people would 
do — before they did it? You would probably use it wouldn't you? But 
PROMIS is not a virus. It has to be installed as a program on the com- 
puter systems that you want to penetrate. Being as uniquely powerful 
as it is, this is usually not a problem. Once its power and advantages 
are demonstrated, most corporations, banks, or nations are eager to be 
a part of the "exclusive" club that has it. And, as is becoming increas- 
ingly confirmed by sources connected to this story, especially in the 
worldwide banking system, not having PROMIS — by whatever 
name it is offered — can exclude you from participating in the ever 
more complex world of money transfers and money laundering. As an 
example, look at any of the symbols on the back of your ATM card. 
Picture your bank refusing to accept the software that made it possible 
to transfer funds from LA to St. Louis, or from St. Louis to Rome. 

The other thing to remember is that where mathematics has 
proved that every human being on Earth is connected to every other 
by only six degrees of separation, in covert operations the number 
shrinks to around three. In the PROMIS story it often shrinks to two. 
It really is a small world. 
The first rip-off 

Reagan confidant and overseer for domestic affairs from 1981 to 
1985, Ed Meese loved PROMIS software. According to lawsuits and 
appeals filed by Hamilton, as well as the records of congressional hear- 
ings, the FBI, and dozens of news stories, the legend of PROMIS 
began in 198 1—82. After a series of demonstrations showing how well 
PROMIS could integrate the computers of dozens of US attorneys' 
offices around the country, the Department of Justice (DoJ) ordered 
an application of the software under a tightly controlled and limited 
license. From there, however, Meese, along with cronies D. Lowell 
Jensen and Earl Brian allegedly engaged in a conspiracy to steal the 
software, modify it to include a "trap door" that would allow those 
who knew of it to access the program in other computers, and then 
sell it overseas to foreign intelligence agencies. Hamilton began to 
smell a rat when agencies from other countries, like Canada, started 
asking him for support services in French when he had never made 
sales to Canada. 

The PROMIS-managed data could be anything from financial 
records of banking institutions to compilations of various records used 
to track the movement of terrorists. That made the program a natural 
for Israel that, according to Hamilton and many other sources, was one 
of the first countries to acquire the bootlegged software from Meese 



1S6 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



and company. As voluminously described by Inslaw attorney, the late 
Elliot Richardson, the Israeli Mossad under the direction of Rafi Eitan, 
allegedly modified the software yet again and sold it throughout the 
Middle East. It was Eitan, the legendary Mossad captor of Adolph 
Eichmann, according to Hamilton, who had masqueraded as an 
Israeli prosecutor to enter Inslaw's DC offices years earlier and obtain 
a firsthand demonstration of what PROMIS could do. 

Not too many Arab nations would trust a friendly Mossad agent 
selling computer programs. So the Mossad provided their modified 
PROMIS to flamboyant British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, 
a World War II Jewish resistance fighter who had assumed the Anglo 
name and British citizenship after the war. It was Maxwell, capable of 
traveling the world and with enormous marketing resources, who 
became the sales agent for PROMIS and then sold it to, among oth- 
ers, the Canadian government. Maxwell drowned mysteriously in late 
1991, not long after investigative reporter Danny Casolaro was "sui- 
cided" in West Virginia. Maxwell may not have been the only one to 
send PROMIS north. 

In the meantime, after winning some successes, including a 
resounding congressional finding that he had been cheated, Bill 
Hamilton hit his own buzz saw in a series of moves by the Reagan and 
Bush Justice Departments and rigged court decisions intended to 
bankrupt him and force him out of business. He survived and fought 
on. In the meantime hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties and 
sales fees were going into the wrong pockets. And, as was later revealed 
from a number of directions, this initial tampering with the software 
was far from the only game in town. Both the CIA, through GE 
Aerospace in Herndon Virginia (GAO Contract #82F624620), the 
FBI, and elements of the NSA were tinkering with PROMIS, not just 
to modify it with a trap door, but to enhance it with artificial intelli- 
gence or AI. It's worth noting that GE Aerospace was subsequently 
purchased by Martin-Marietta that then merged to become 
Lockheed-Martin the largest defense and aerospace contractor in the 
world... 

Confidential documents obtained by FTW indicate that much of 
the AI development was done at the Los Alamos National Laboratory 
and Sandia Labs using research from other US universities, including 
Harvard, Cal-Tech, and the University of California. And it was not 
just Reagan Republicans who got their hands on it either. As we'll see 
shortly, PROMIS came to life years before the election of Ronald 
Reagan. It was also, according to Bill Tyree, an essential element in the 
espionage conducted by Jonathan Pollard against not only the US 



PROMIS: Controlling the Data i 57 

government but the Washington embassies of many nations targeted 
by Israel's Mossad. 
The Last Circle 

For more than a year and half, members of the National Security 
Section of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have been 
traveling through the US, often in the company of a savvy female 
homicide detective named Sue Todd from the small California town 
of Hercules. Even now questions linger as to what the Canadians were 
really after. But there is absolutely no question that while surrepti- 
tiously in the US the Mounties spent more time with author and 
investigative reporter Cheri Seymour than with anyone else. And for 
good reason. 

Seymour, under the pen name of Carol Marshall is the author of a 
meticulously researched e-book entitled The Last Circle, available at 
<www.lycaeum.org/books/books/last_circle/>. 

Our fact-checker at FTW\ms found the book to be meticulously 
researched and documented, an opinion shared by Bill Hamilton and 
the RCMP, who have also told me of its precision. 

I first met Cheri in person this spring after she had contacted me 
via the Internet. I traveled to her home, some three hours outside of 
Los Angeles and viewed acres of documentation for a saga that start- 
ed with drug-related murders and police corruption around 
methamphetamine production in northern California in the 1980s. 
That investigation later connected to politicians like Tony Coelho and 
major corporations like MCA and eventually led to a shadowy scien- 
tist named Michael Riconosciuto. Familiar names like Ted Gunderson 
and relatively unknown names like Robert Booth Nichols weave 
throughout this detailed epic that takes us to the Cabazon Indian 
Reservation in the California Desert and into the deepest recesses of 
the 1980s Reagan/Bush security apparatus. 

Gunderson, a retired FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) from Los 
Angeles, and Nichols, a mysterious Los Angeles man, exposed through 
court documents obtained by Seymour as being a career CIA opera- 
tive, connected with scientist/ programmer Riconosciuto in a sinister, 
yet now very well-documented phase of PROMIS 's development. In 
affidavits Riconosciuto claimed that one of the tasks he performed at 
the Cabazon reservation was to install a back door in the version of 
PROMIS that was sold to Canada. In August of this year the RCMP 
investigators told both Seymour and me that they had traveled to the 
reservation several times and had confirmed many details of Seymour's 
research. They had also interviewed Riconosciuto on more than one 
occasion. As with everyone else I have ever met who has spoken with 



1 58 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



him, both the Mounties and Seymour kept a reserved distance from 
him and always "counted their fingers after every handshake." 

The Last Circle describes in detail how PROMIS software was 
modified by Riconosciuto to allegedly include the back door "eaves- 
dropping" capability but also enhanced with one form of AI and 
subsequently applied to the development of new weapons systems 
including "ethnospecific" biowarfare compounds capable of attacking 
specific races. Riconosciuto, now serving time in a federal prison in 
Pennsylvania has a cell a very short distance from fellow espionage 
inmates Edwin Wilson and Jonathan Pollard. While his tale is critical 
to understanding what has happened to PROMIS, the fact remains 
that Riconosciuto has been out of the loop and in legal trouble for 
eight years. He has been in a maximum-security prison for at least six. 
What was surprising was that in 1998 he contacted homicide detec- 
tive Sue Todd in Hercules and told her that the murder of a father and 
son, execution style, was connected to the PROMIS story. One con- 
nection was obvious. Hercules is a "company town" connected to a 
weapons manufacturer described in Seymour's book that also connects 
to the Cabazon Indian Reservation. 
The three Bills 

I lived in Washington, DC from August 1994 until late October of 
1995. It was during that time that I was a semi-regular visitor at the 
Fairfax, Virginia, home of Bill McCoy, a loveable 60-something giant, 
always adorned with a beret who complained ruthlessly about what 
had happened to the United States since "The Damned Yankee Army" 
had taken over. Writers were "scribblers." People who thought they 
knew something about covert operations without ever having seen 
one were "spooky-groupies." "Mac," as we called him, had his inves- 
tigative fingers in almost everything, but he was most involved with 
PROMIS. McCoy was a retired chief warrant officer from the US 
Army's Criminal Investigation Division. He had broken some of the 
biggest cases in army history. It was Mac who first introduced me to 
both Bill Tyree and to Bill Hamilton in 1994. I recall scratching my 
head as I would be sitting at Mac's dinner table when a call would 
come in from Hamilton asking if there was any new information from 
Tyree. "Not yet," McCoy would answer, "I'll call as soon as I get 
something." 

"How," I asked, "could a guy in a maximum security prison like 
Walpole State Penitentiary in Massachusetts be getting information of 
such quality that someone like Hamilton would be calling urgently to 
see what had come in?" "That," answered McCoy was the work of 
someone known only as "The Sergeant Major," and alternately as "His 



PROMIS: Controlling the Data 159 



Eminence" who fed the information to Tyree, who in turn fed it to 
McCoy, who then passed it on to Hamilton. Sometimes however, 
Tyree and Hamilton communicated directly. To this day the identity 
of the Sergeant Major remains a mystery and the puzzle piece most 
pursued by the RCMP when they visited me in August 2000. 

It was also not by coincidence then that, in the same winter of 
1994—95, McCoy revealed to me that he was using former Green 
Berets to conduct physical surveillance of the Washington, DC offices 
of Microsoft in connection with the PROMIS case. FTWhzs, within 
the last month, received information indicating that piracy of 
Microsoft products at the GE Aerospace Herndon facility were likely 
tied to larger objectives, possibly the total compromise of any 
Windows-based product. It is not by chance that most of the military 
and all of the intelligence agencies in the US now operate on UNIX 
or Macintosh systems. 

In late 1996 Tyree mailed me a detailed set of diagrams and a 
lengthy narrative explaining the exact hows and whys of the murder 
of Danny Casolaro and an overall view of the PROMIS saga that is 
not only consistent with what is described by Seymour in The Last 
Circle but also provides many new details. Those documents, as later 
described to me by RCMP Investigator Sean McDade, proved to 
be "Awesome and right on the money." 

The essence of those documents was that, not only had the 
Republicans under Meese exploited the software, but that the 
Democrats had also seen its potential and moved years earlier. 
Nowhere was this connection more clearly exposed than in under- 
standing the relationship between three classmates from the US Naval 
Academy: Jimmy Carter, Stansfield Turner (Carter's CIA director), 
and billionaire banker and Presidential kingmaker (Carter's Annapolis 
roommate), Arkansas' Jackson Stephens. The Tyree diagrams laid out 
in detail how PROMIS, after improvement with AI, had allegedly 
been mated with the software of Jackson Stephens' firm Systematics 
(now Axciom). In the late 70s and early 80s, Systematics handled 
some 60—70 percent of all electronic banking transactions in the US. 
The goal, according to the diagrams that laid out (subsequently veri- 
fied) relationships between Stephens, Worthen Bank, the Lippo 
Group, and the drug/intelligence bank BCCI, was to penetrate every 
banking system in the world. This "cabal" could then use PROMIS 
both to predict and to influence the movement of financial markets 
worldwide. Stephens, truly bipartisan in his approach to profits, has 
been a lifelong supporter of George Bush, and he was, at the same 
time, the source of the $3-million loan that rescued a faltering 



160 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Clinton Campaign in early 1992. There is a great photograph of 
Stephens with a younger George W. Bush in the excellent BCCI his- 
tory, Fake Profits. 

In the fall of 1997, Bill McCoy, having recently gone off his heart 
medication was found dead in his favorite chair. In the days and weeks 
before, he had been advised by Tyree that a Pakistani hit man, on an 
Israeli contract, had been in the states seeking to fulfill a hit on 
McCoy. There had been other hints that someone closer to McCoy 
might do the job. Tyree recently told FTW thax just before his death, 
he had given McCoy information on Elbit flash memory chips, 
allegedly designed at Kir Yat-Gat south of Tel Aviv. The unique fea- 
ture of the Elbit chips was that they worked on ambient electricity in 
a computer. In other words, they worked when the computer was 
turned off. When combined with another newly developed chip, the 
Petrie, which was capable of storing up to six months worth of key 
strokes, it was now possible to burst transmit all of a computer's activ- 
ity in the middle of the night to a nearby receiver — say in a passing 
truck or even a low-flying SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) satellite. 
According to Tyree this was the methodology used by Jonathan 
Pollard and the Israeli Mossad to compromise many foreign embassies 
in Washington. 

Within 48 hours of his death Bill McCoy had been cremated and 
in less than four days all of Mac's furniture, records, and personal 
belongings had been removed from his home by his son, a full colonel 
in the army. The house had been sanitized and repainted, and aside 
from the Zen garden in the back yard, there was no trace that McCoy 
had ever lived there. 

Harvard and HUD 

(Department of Housing and Urban Development) 

Former Assistant Secretary of Housing, Catherine Austin Fitts has had 
about as much ink in FTW as anyone else. 

One of the empires Fitts threatened was that of the Harvard 
Endowment. The Harvard Endowment is not really a benevolent uni- 
versity fund but an aggressive investment predator with $ 1 9 billion in 
assets, some from HUD-subsidized housing. Harvard also has a num- 
ber of other investments in high-tech defense operations and had a big 
hand in investing George W. Bush's lackluster firm Harken Energy. 
"W" has a Harvard MBA. Fitts' chief nemesis at Harvard, Herbert 
"Pug" Winokur, head of Capricorn Investments, and member of the 
board of the Harvard Endowment is also a PhD mathematician from 
Harvard where the mathematical breakthroughs that gave rise to arti- 



PROMIS: Controlling the Data 161 



ficial intelligence using block-modeling research were discovered. In 
the 60s Winokur had done social science research for the Department 
of Defense on causes of inner city unrest in the wake of the 1967 
Detroit riots. 

The pioneering research at Harvard that allegedly gave rise to the 
artificial intelligence installed in PROMIS later moved north. 
According to a Harvard website, "Much of the effort of the Harvard 
group — no longer based solely at Harvard — was centered on the 
International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA) at 
Toronto..." 1 Things grew more suspicious as Fitts' research disclosed that 
Winokur, through Capricorn Investments, had a decisive role in the 
1980s management of the intelligence/government outsourcing 
mega-firm DynCorp, of Reston, VA. Winokur served as DynCorp 
CEO from 1989 to 1997. 

In juxtaposition, Harvard and HUD differ in one striking respect 
according to Fitts. The Harvard Endowment has enjoyed wildly 
uncharacteristic above-market tax-free returns for the last decade, (33 
percent in 1999), while HUD, in the same year, was compelled to do 
a "manual adjustment" to reconcile a $59-billion shortfall between its 
accounts and the US Treasury account. 

I was not surprised when Bill Hamilton confirmed to both Fitts 
and to me that Winokur's DynCorp had played a role in the evolution 
of PROMIS in the 1980s. One other surprise was to come out of Fitts's 
investigations that had months earlier led her to conclude that she was 
up against PROMIS-related interests. On the very day that DoJ and 
HUD shut her down she was discussing software development with a 
Canadian firm that is at the heart of the Canadian space program, 
Geomatics. The term Geomatics applies to a related group of sciences, 
all involving satellite imagery, used to develop geographic information 
systems, global positioning systems, and remote sensing from space 
that can actually determine the locations of natural resources such as 
oil, precious metals, and other commodities. 

Apparently centered in Canada, the Geomatics industry offers 
consulting services throughout the world in English, German, Russian, 
French, Arabic, Spanish, and Chinese. Geomatics technology, launched 
aboard Canadian satellites via US, European, or Japanese boosters 
can help developing or industrialized nations inventory and man- 
age all of their natural resources. There are also several Geomatics- 
related companies in the US including one not far from the Johnson 
Space center in Houston. 

This situation is custom-made for enhanced PROMIS software with 
back-door technology. What better way to map and inventory all of the 



162 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

world's resources than by making each client nation pay for the work? By 
providing the client nation PROMIS-based software it would then be 
possible to compile a global database of every marketable natural 
resource. And it would not be necessary to even touch the resources 
because commodities and futures markets exist for all of them. An AI- 
enhanced, PROMIS-based program would then be the perfect setup to 
make billions of dollars in profits by watching and manipulating the 
world's political climate to trade in, let's say Tungsten futures. Such a 
worldwide database would be even more valuable if there were, for exam- 
ple, a sudden surge in the price of gold or platinum. 

Bill Hamilton readily agreed that this was an ideal situation for the 
application of PROMIS technology. In furthering our research on 
Geomatics we discovered that almost everywhere Geomatics technolo- 
gy went we also found Lockheed-Martin. 
Enter the Mounties 

Thanks to a strong push in my direction from Cheri Seymour, the 
Mounties and Hercules PD Homicide Detective Sue Todd arrived at 
my door on August 3 rd . They had already consumed most of the FTW 
website and were well familiar with my writings. I had let them know, 
through Cheri, that I did have information on PROMIS from Bill 
Tyree and that I would be happy to share it. Before getting into details 
we all went out for lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant. 

Over lunch the Mounties were quite candid about the fact that the 
RCMP had PROMIS software and that it even went by the name 
PROMIS. I think they may have also mentioned the name PIRS, 
which is an acknowledged system in the RCMP network. They stated 
that they had been given their version of PROMIS by the Canadian 
Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS). 

CSIS was an intelligence breakaway from the Mounties in 1984, 
intended to be a pure [sic] intelligence agency. It was created largely 
with the expertise and assistance of the CIA. All of us understood two 
things about that arrangement, and we discussed them openly. First, 
there was a question as to whether or not any intelligence service cre- 
ated by the CIA could be completely loyal to its native country. 
Secondly, it was also understood that there was a rivalry between the 
two agencies similar to the one that existed between the FBI and the 
CIA, or in a larger context, the Clinton gang and the Bush gang in the 
US. The chief concern of the Mounties, clearly, was to ascertain 
whether or not their version of PROMIS was one that was compro- 
mised. McDade also described in detail how he knew that supposedly 
secure RCMP communications equipment had been compromised by 
the NSA. The Mounties acknowledged regular meetings with Cheri 



PROMIS: CONTROLLING THE DATA 163 



Seymour but evinced none of the interest she said that they had previ- 
ously shown in the Mossad. With me their single-minded focus was 
Bill Tyree and where and how he obtained his information. 

Sue Todd, confirmed for me suspicions that there was an unspo- 
ken alliance between the RCMP investigators and the FBI. She said 
that during the course of her three years of efforts to solve the double 
murder in Hercules, she had routinely visited FBI offices and enjoyed 
access to FBI files relative to both the PROMIS investigation and any- 
thing connected to her victims. That information was obviously being 
shared with the Mounties, and that implied the blessings of the FBI. 
In short, a domestic law enforcement officer was sharing information 
with agents of a foreign government. In some cases that could provoke 
espionage charges, but in this case it was apparently sanctioned. The 
Hercules murder victims had no apparent connection to PROMIS 
software in any way except for the fact that Riconosciuto had pos- 
sessed knowledge about the murders that he had provided to Todd 
from prison. The Hercules Armament Corporation, featured in The 
Last Circle, was an obvious link. I also noted that the father in Todd's 
case had been a computer engineer with passions for both geological 
research and hypnosis and no other visible connections to the 
PROMIS story. 

As we copied Tyree's papers and went through other materials the 
next day, I was aware that the Canadians expressed special interest in 
Jackson Stephens and anything having to do with the manipulation 
of financial markets. They asked for copies of news reports I had 
showing that General Wesley Clark, the recently retired NATO com- 
mander, has just gone to work for Stephens, Inc. in Little Rock, 
Arkansas. (Undeclared Presidential candidate Wesley Clark maintains 
a relationship with Stephens and Axciom to this day.) I also provided 
documents showing that Stephens' financial firm Alltel, heir to 
Systematics, was moving heavily into the mortgage market. As the 
Mounties repeatedly pressed for information on the identity of the 
Sergeant Major I referred them to Tyree directly through his attorney 
Ray Kohlman and to Tyree's closest friend, the daughter of CIA bag- 
man and paymaster Albert Carone, Dee Ferdinand. 

McDade did eventually contact Ferdinand by phone, and shortly 
thereafter one of the most bizarre twists in the whole story took place. 

About a week after meeting the Mounties I heard back from Sean 
that the Tyree documents and flow charts from 1996 had been right 
on the money. A special recurring theme in those documents that 
meshes with Seymour's research is the fact that modified versions of 
PROMIS software with both artificial intelligence and trap doors 



164 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

were being smuggled out of Los Alamos nuclear labs in containers 
labeled as radioactive waste. According to Tyree and other sources, 
after an Indian reservation, the safest place in the world that no one 
will ever break into is a nuclear waste dump. This also applies to con- 
tainers in transit between countries. The radioactive warning label 
guarantees unmolested movement of virtually anything. PROMIS 
software is apparently no exception. 
Bill Casey and Al Carone from the grave 

Albert Vincent Carone has also been covered exhaustively in FTW, 
both in the newsletter and on the web site. A retired NYPD Detective, 
also a "made" member of the Genovese crime family, Carone spent his 
entire working career as a CIA operative. FTWhas special reports on 
both Bill Tyree and Al Carone available from the web site. For more 
than 25 years before his mysterious death in 1990, Al Carone served 
as a bagman and liaison between George Bush, CIA Director Bill 
Casey, Oliver North, Richard Nixon and many other prominent fig- 
ures including Robert Vesco, Manuel Noriega and Ferdinand 
Marcos. The Carone-Tyree connection, covered in detail in the 
Sept. 1998 issue (Vol. I, no. 7) goes back to operations in the mid 
1970s when Tyree, serving with the Special Forces, engaged in CIA 
directed missions for which Carone was the paymaster. 

Carone's death from "chemical toxicity of unknown etiology" in 
1990 resulted in the sanitizing of all of his military and NYPD records 
as well as the theft and disappearance of nearly ten million dollars in 
bank accounts, insurance policies and investments. Virtually 
overnight, almost every record of Carone disappeared leaving his 
daughter and her family nearly bankrupt under the burden of tens of 
thousands of dollars in medical bills. In 1996, Carone's daughter, Dee 
Ferdinand, discovered that Tyree and Carone had known each other 
and that Tyree could prove instrumental in helping to restore Carone's 
lost fortune. Ferdinand filed suit in US district court this spring 
[Note: The suit has since been dismissed] seeking to recover pensions, 
insurance policies and benefits in a case which has no known connec- 
tion to PROMIS. I have known Ferdinand and her family for more 
than seven years. Never once has she mentioned a connection between 
her father and PROMIS although she was well familiar with the case 
from Tyree and conversations with Bill Hamilton. I had referred the 
Mounties to her because of my belief that she could possibly help 
identify Tyree's source, the Sergeant Major. 

On August 10 th , exactly one week after the Mounties came to see 
me, the DoJ mailed Ferdinand a response to her suit seeking dismissal. 
Included in the paperwork was a bizarre document, now in FTW's 



PROMIS: Controlling the Data 165 



possession, that, by the account of both Ferdinand and her lawyer, 
had absolutely nothing to do with her case. The document in ques- 
tion was a March 29, 1986 Declaration from CIA Director William 
Casey, a close friend of the Carone family. Paragraph 6 of that docu- 
ment (prepared for another case) stated, "Two of the documents 
responsive to Plaintiffs' Request No 1, specifically the one-page letter dated 
28 March 1979 and a one-page letter dated 8 January 1980, have been 
released in the same excised form as they were previously released by the 
Government of Canada. I independently and formally assert the state 
secrets privilege for the information excised from these two documents. " 

Dee Ferdinand called me immediately. The letter had nothing to 
do with her suit. It mentioned Canada. Canada was not even men- 
tioned in her suit. What was going on?" she asked. "It's blackmail," I 
answered. "CIA, which is monitoring everything the Canadians do, 
everything I do, everything you do, knows that I will tell the 
Mounties of these letters." McDade didn't grasp the concept at first. 
He was a straight-ahead street cop. But I had been through something 
similar when serving as the [LA. County] press spokesman for the 
Perot Presidential campaign in 1992. I explained it to Sean, "Sean, 
you and I are just the messengers. But I guarantee that at some level 
of your government the CIA's reference to these letters will scare peo- 
ple to death. It is a reminder that CIA has them." 

A week later McDade told me that the dates were indeed signifi- 
cant — very significant. That's all he would say. . . 
Headlines 

On August 25 th the Toronto Star broke what was to become a series of 
stories by Valerie Lawson and Allan Thompson. The cat was out of 
the bag. Various figures known to have direct connections to 
Riconosciuto had been virtually dogging the Mounties' every move as 
they traveled in the US. One even contacted me just days after the 
Mounties left LA. It was a story that could not be kept under wraps 
forever. Most of the Star story was accurate. It was going to be diffi- 
cult for the RCMP to move quietly now. A Reuters story the same day 
closed with the following paragraphs, "Canada's national counterintel- 
ligence agency said in a June report that friendly nations were making 
concerted efforts to steal sensitive technology and information. 

" The Canadian Security Intelligence Service said outsiders were par- 
ticularly interested in aerospace, biotechnology, chemicals, 
communications, information technology, mining and metallurgy, 
nuclear energy, oil and gas, and the environment. "That was Geomatics, 
at the heart of Canada's space program, Canada's flagship space tech- 
nology. I checked the Star story. There had been no mention of high 



166 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

tech or space related issues. What did Reuters know? In mid 
September, after receiving confidential source documents related to the 
case telling me that one version of PROMIS, modified in Canada was 
handled through the Canadian firm LP. Sharp, I got an answer. A 
quick search on the web revealed that Sharp, a well documented com- 
ponent of the case, had been bought by a Reuters company in the 
early 90s. Hamilton later told me that he had heard that Reuters pos- 
sibly had the PROMIS software. That would explain how they knew 
about the aerospace connection. 

Michael Dobbs of the Washington Post called and asked what I 
knew. I confirmed that I had met with the Mounties but didn't know 
much else other than giving them the Tyree flow charts. The Post was 
never going to tell the truth. Their business was keeping secrets, not 
revealing them. The Mounties had made waves. 

On August 28 the phone rang and it was a collect call from Tyree. 
"Get a tape recorder and turn it on," he said. Over the course of the 
next half an hour Tyree, obviously reading from detailed and copious 
notes, named individuals and companies dealing with PROMIS soft- 
ware and its progeny. The tape was specific down to naming specific 
engineers in military and private corporations doing PROMIS 
research. Tyree described specific Congressional committees that had 
been infiltrated with "enhanced" PROMIS. Tyree described how 
PROMIS progeny, having inspired four new computer languages, 
had made possible the positioning of satellites so far out in space that 
they were untouchable. At the same time the progeny had improved 
video quality to the point where the same satellite could focus on a 
single human hair. The ultimate big picture. 

PROMIS progeny had also evolved to the point where neural pads 
could be attached to plugs in the back of the human head and thought 
could be translated into electrical impulses that would be equally capa- 
ble of flying a plane or wire transferring money. Names like Sandia, 
Cal-Tech, Micron, Tech University of Graz, Oded Leventer, and 
Massimo Grimaldi rolled from his lips as he tore through the pages of 
notes. Data, such as satellite reconnaissance, could also now be down- 
loaded from a satellite directly into a human brain. The evolution of 
the artificial intelligence had progressed to a point where animal 
behavior and thought were being decoded. Mechanical humans were 
being tested. Animals were being controlled by computer. 
Billy saved Canada for last. 

"Here's how we fuck Canada," he started. He was laughing as he face- 
tiously described what was coming as some sort of bizarre payback 
for the War of 1812. Then, placing the evolutions of PROMIS in 



PROMIS: CONTROLLING THE DATA 167 



context with the Canadian story Tyree asked a question as to why 
one would really now need to go to all the trouble of monitoring all 
of a foreign country's intelligence operations. "There's an easier way 
to get what I want," he said. "I access their banks. I access their banks 
and I know who does what and who's getting ready to do what," he 
said. He described how Canada had been provided with modified 
PROMIS software that Canada then modified, or thought they had 
modified, again to eliminate the trap door. That software, turned 
loose in the financial and scientific communities, then became 
Canada's means of believing that they were securing the trap door 
information from the entities to whom they provided their versions 
of PROMIS. But, unknown, to the Canadians the Elbit chips in the 
systems bypassed the trap doors and permitted the transmission of 
data when everyone thought the computers were turned off and 
secure. Tyree did not explain how the chips physically got into the 
Canadian computers. 

"This," Tyree said "is how you cripple everything Canada does 
that you don't like. And if you want proof I offer you the fact that we 
toppled the government of Australia in 1980 [sic]." "[Prime Minister] 
Gough Whitlam and Nugan Hand [Bank]," I answered. Tyree 
affirmed. The Labor Government of Whitlam had been suddenly 
unseated after making nationalistic noise and questioning the role of 
US intelligence agencies in Australian affairs. 

The issue of a coming feud between the dollar and the Euro came 
up. I suggested that rapidly vanishing support in South America and 
Europe both were threatening the military operations of "Plan 
Colombia" and the economic boost it would give the US economy. 
Tyree jumped in, "If I can put Canada in line and show the 
Eurodollar, the 'Eurotrash' what I have already done to my neighbor, 
whom I value to some degree — remember, these are not nice people 
— these are financial thugs at their worst. So what they are going to 
do is sit down discreetly and say, 'Look, this is what we did to Canada. 
Now, would you like us to do this to the European market as well?' 
Mike, they're not going to think twice about it. A weapon is only 
good if someone knows what its capability is. Prior to using the atom- 
ic bomb it was irrelevant." He continued, "They refer to it as the 
Nagasaki Syndrome." 

...Then, chillingly, he described something familiar to any mili- 
tary strategist. The penetration and looting of HUD was the test bed, 
the proving ground, the "White Sands" of the PROMIS economic 
Atom bomb. Once the CIA and the economic powers-that-be had 
proven that, over a period of years, they could infiltrate and loot $59 



168 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

billion dollars from HUD, they knew that they could do it anywhere. 
Said Tyree, "Then they knew they had what it took to go abroad and 
create mayhem. It was planned 20 years ago." 

It took several days to reach Sean McDade who had been on vaca- 
tion. I played the Tyree tape for him over an open phone line into 
RCMP headquarters. He asked me to make a physical copy right away 
and send it to him. After he had had time to listen to it he cautioned 
me against sending it anywhere else. I told him that as long as his 
investigation was active that I would do nothing more than make the 
standard copies I make of any sensitive documents as a precaution. I 
could tell that the tape had rattled him... 

If keeping the tape quiet would give the Mounties an edge I would 
do it — but only as long as they had a case. 
Sudden Death 
Then it was over. 

On September 16 th the Toronto Star announced that the RCMP 
had suddenly closed its PROMIS investigation with the flat disclaimer 
that it did not have, and never did have, any version of Bill Hamilton's 
software. That was as shocking a statement as it was absurd. "The only 
way that you can identify PROMIS," said a perplexed Bill Hamilton, 
"is to compare the code. Sean McDade said that he was not an engi- 
neer and couldn't read code so how did he know?" Hamilton was as 
emphatic as I was that McDade had said that RCMP had PROMIS. 
So was Cheri Seymour. I offered a fleeting hope that the Mounties 
were playing a game, saying that they had terminated the investigation 
to shake some of the incessant probing that had been taking place 
around McDade's every move. 

I was finally convinced when McDade e-mailed me and said that 
it was his view that the Mounties did not have any version of 
PROMIS and that he had no objections if I decided to write a story. 
I then agreed with Seymour that, whether they had said so or not, 
both the Mounties and Sue Todd had left enough visible footprints 
that it was their intention for us to go public. It might be the only pro- 
tection they had... 
Diplomacy 

Just three days after the Toronto Star announced the abrupt termina- 
tion of the RCMP investigation the Canada based International 
Network on Disarmament and Globalization (INDG) posted an 
electronic bulletin on a speech by former Canadian Ambassador to 
the US. In an address the night before, less than 48 hours after the 
termination of the RCMP investigation, Derek Burney, current pres- 
ident of CAE, a Canadian firm manufacturing flight simulators, 



PROMIS: Controlling the Data 169 



criticized the US aerospace industry for being overly protectionist 
under the guise of national security. In addressing the Aerospace 
Industries Association of Canada, according to large stories that 
appeared in CP (Canadian Press) and Toronto's Globe and Mail, 
Burney was characterized as sounding unusually tough in his criti- 
cism of American policy that was freezing Canadian firms out of 
aerospace contracts. Both stories were ambivalent in that they alter- 
nately made Burney sound critical of the US while championing 
Canadian interests and at the same time weak as he noted that 
Mexico stood poised under NAFTA to replace Canada as the US 's 
number one trading partner. 

The CP story made two telling observations. It quoted Burney as 
saying that Canada needed to do more to "preserve and enhance its 
access to the American market." Then it closed it's story on Burney's 
speech, advocating a compromise agreement between the US and 
Canada, by saying that Burney's position "risks being perceived here 
at home as a sellout or worse." 

A close examination of Burney's remarks, published in the INDG 
bulletin revealed something more like an obsequious surrender rather 
than a mere sellout. While there were a few tough-talking paragraphs 
that saved Canadian face, the essence of the speech was that Burney 
believed that American defense firms, the largest of which is 
Lockheed-Martin, were poised to transfer the bulk of their contracts 
to companies in Mexico. Citing Canada's dependence upon access to 
American avionics and "databases," Burney painted a picture that 
seemingly left Canada over a barrel. Without access to American tech- 
nology the Canadian aerospace industry could not function. 

Buried deep in the text of Burney's speech we found the following 
paragraph that is, we believe, the best place to end this story. 

"That does not mean that we have to agree with everything 
Washington does or says or do things exactly as the Americans do. On the 
contrary, one of the advantages of being a good neighbor and close ally is 
that we can speak freely and forthrightly to the Americans - provided we 
have a solid case and are seeking to influence their position and not sim- 
ply capture a quick headline. And, never forget, it is always more effective 
to be frank in private. Otherwise your motive can be somewhat suspect. " 

PROMIS postscripts 

At 2:15 on the afternoon of November 10, 2000, I was called by Jan Belton, a 
Canadian accountant with many years of experience in the securities industry. He 
had read the previous story and he wanted me to know that I was right on the 
money. He had been one of the people interviewed on many occasions by the 



170 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Mounties during their investigation and he had been involved in its mysteries since 
the mid 1980s. Belton said that it was a given that PROMIS was used for a wide 
variety of purposes by intelligence agencies, including the real-time monitoring of 
stock transactions on all of the world's major financial markets. 

He then confirmed for me that in April of 1991 Derek Burney, a close polit- 
ical ally of Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, received a personal 
briefing on PROMIS software. "Check it out," said Belton, "It's in [Israeli 
Mossad agent] Ari Ben-Menashe's book [Profits of War]." Ben-Menashe was one 
of Israel's top spies. In both congressional investigations and many reports, he 
was linked to the Iran-Contra scandal and the October Surprise in which Bush, 
Casey, and others, in order to win the 1980 presidential election, made a deal 
with the Iranian government not to release US hostages taken from the American 
embassy in Teheran until after Ronald Reagan had won the election. It was Ari 
Ben-Menashe, reportedly, who had tipped off the press to weapons shipments 
being handled by Oliver North which resulted in the breaking of the Iran- 
Contra scandal. 1 Belton stated that complaints had been filed with the RCMP 
from as far back as 1983 regarding both Robert Maxwell and Earl Brian who had 
actually sold the Mounties their doctored version of the software. Brian, a med- 
ical doctor who founded the company Hadron, had also been involved in shady 
dealings with firms connected to disease research, cytology (the study of cells), 
and biotechnology. This has significance in the post 9/11 world because, as we 
shall see, Hadron will turn up at the heart of secret US government operations 
involving biowarfare and vaccines. 

PROMIS and whatever forms it has morphed into are incredibly powerful tools 
that can be used in any number of applications. It was not until a few months after 
the attacks of 9/11 that I even suspected that it might have been in the hands of 
Osama bin Laden. 

FTW published the following story on November 16, 200 1: 2 

Bin Laden's Magic Carpet: Secret US PROMIS Software 
FBI/Justice Claims of Discontinued Use Leave Questions Unanswered 
Britain and Germany in the Lurch? 
Did bin Laden Use It To Break White House Codes 
And Threaten Air Force One? 

by 

Michael C. Ruppert 

FTW, October 26, 2001 — 1300 PDT (UPDATED November 16, 
2001) — An October 16 FOX News report by correspondent Carl 
Cameron indicating that convicted spy, former FBI Agent Robert 
Hanssen, had provided a highly secret computer software program 
called PROMIS to Russian organized crime figures — who in turn 



PROMIS: Controlling the Data 171 



reportedly sold it to Osama bin Laden — may signal a potential intel- 
ligence disaster for the United States. Admissions by the FBI and the 
Department of Justice in the FOX story that they have discontinued 
use of the software are most certainly a legal disaster for a government 
that has been engaged in a 16-year battle with the software's creator, 
William Hamilton, CEO of the Inslaw Corporation. Over those 16 
years, in response to lawsuits filed by Hamilton charging that the gov- 
ernment had stolen the software from Inslaw, the FBI, the CIA and 
the Department of Justice have denied, in court and under oath, ever 
using the software. 

Bin Laden's reported possession of PROMIS software was clearly 
reported in a June 15, 2001 story by Washington Times reporter Jerry 
Seper. That story went unnoticed by the major media. In it Seper 
wrote, "The software delivered to the Russian handlers and later sent 
to bin Laden, according to sources, is believed to be an upgraded ver- 
sion of a program known as PROMIS — developed in the 1980s by 
a Washington firm, Inslaw, Inc., to give attorneys the ability to keep 
tabs on their caseloads. It would give bin Laden the ability to moni- 
tor US efforts to track him down, federal law-enforcement officials 
say. It also gives him access to databases on specific targets of his 
choosing and the ability to monitor electronic-banking transactions, 
easing money-laundering operations for himself or others, according 
to sources." 

In a series of excellent stories by the Washington Times, and as 
confirmed by parts of the FOX broadcast, it appears that Hanssen, 
who was arrested in February, in order to escape the death penalty this 
summer, agreed to provide the FBI and other intelligence agencies 
with a full accounting of his sale of PROMIS overseas. Reports state 
that almost until the moment of his capture, Hanssen was charged 
with "repairing" and upgrading versions of the software used by Britain 
and Germany. 

On October 17 two different spokespersons at the FBI's Office of 
Public Affairs told FTW, "The FBI has discontinued use of the 
PROMIS software." The spokespersons declined to give their names. 

On October 24 Department of Justice spokesperson Loren Pfeifle 
declined to answer any questions about where, when, or how PROMIS 
had been used and would say only, "I can only confirm that the DoJ 
has discontinued use of the program " 

"Numerous news stories, books and investigative reports including 
a September 2000 story in FTW (Vol. Ill, no.7), spanning nearly two 
decades, have established that PROMIS holds unique abilities to track 
terrorists. The software has also, according to numerous sources 



172 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

including Hamilton, been modified with artificial intelligence and 
developed in parallel for the world's banking systems to track money 
movements, stock trades and other financial dealings. Systematics — 
since purchased by Alltel — an Arkansas financial and technical firm 
headed by billionaire Jackson Stephens, has often been reported as the 
primary developer of PROMIS for financial intelligence use. 
Systematics through its various evolutions had been a primary suppli- 
er of software used in inter-bank and international money transfers for 
many years. Attorneys who have been connected to Systematics and 
PROMIS include Webster Hubbell, Hillary Clinton, and the late 
Vince Foster. 

If true, and if claims by the FBI and the Department of Justice 
that they have "recently" discontinued the use of PROMIS are accu- 
rate, the likelihood than bin Laden may have compromised the 
systems the US government and its allies use to track him is high. 
Additional information in the FOX broadcast indicating that Britain 
stopped using the software just three months ago and that Germany 
stopped using the software just weeks ago are equally disturbing. 
These are mission-critical systems requiring years of development. 
What has replaced them? And even if the US government has 
replaced the software given to its allies with newer programs — sev- 
eral of which FTW knows to be in existence — the FOX report 
clearly implies that bin Laden and associates have had ample time to 
get highly secret intelligence data from both Britain and Germany. 
Those systems might, in turn, have compromised US systems. The 
WTC attacks had — by all reckoning — been in the works for years, 
and bin Laden would certainly have known that the US would be 
looking for him afterwards. . ." 

"Approximately two weeks after the September 1 1 attacks on the 
World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the History Channel aired a 
documentary entitled "The History of Terrorism." In that documen- 
tary, a law enforcement officer described some of the methods used to 
track terrorist movements. He stated that "computers" were able to 
track such things as credit card purchases, entry and exits visas, tele- 
phone and utility usage etc. It was implied that these diverse database 
files could be integrated into one unified table. He gave an example 
that through the use of such a system it would be possible to deter- 
mine that if a suspected terrorist entered the country and was going to 
hide out, that by monitoring the water and electrical consumption of 
all possible suspects in a given cell, it would be possible to determine 
where the terrorist was hiding out by seeing whose utility use 
increased. Conversely, it would be possible to determine if a terrorist 



PROMIS: Controlling the Data 173 



was on the move if his utility consumption declined or his local shop- 
ping patterns were interrupted. Aren't those "club" cards from your 
supermarket handy? 

This is but the barest glimpse of what PROMIS can do. Mated 
with artificial intelligence it is capable of analyzing not only an indi- 
vidual's, but also a community's entire life, in real time. It is also 
capable of issuing warnings when irregularities appear and of predict- 
ing future movements based upon past behavior. 

In the financial arena PROMIS is even more formidable. Not only 
is it capable of predicting movements in financial markets and track- 
ing trades in real time. It has been reported, on a number of occasions, 
to have been used, via the "back door" to enter secret bank accounts, 
including accounts in Switzerland and then remove the money in 
those accounts without being traced. Court documents filed in the 
various INSLAW trials include documentation of this ability as well 
as affidavits and declarations from Israeli intelligence officers and 
assets..." 

"...A key question that lingered after the meetings with the 
RCMP was how many versions of the software had the CIA and the 
US government given out and might they not have been also using a 
back door against "friendly" nations for economic motives to give 
advantage to US companies. It was not a question that the RCMP dis- 
missed as unlikely. 

"In another mind-boggling development, on November 10 the 
Calgary Sun reported: 'US police said many of the suspected al Qaida 
terrorists were nabbed through the use of a state-of-the-art computer 
software program called PROMIS. The system interfaces with any 
database and can provide information on credit card, banking, pen- 
sion, tax, criminal and immigration records. Police can input an 
alleged terrorist name or credit card and the software will provide 
details of the person's movements through purchases or phone 
records... 

"The FOX story reported that Osama bin Laden once boasted 
that his youth 'knew the wrinkles of the world's financial markets like 
the back of their hands and that his money would never be frozen.' 
He may be right. And an administration so lost in covering up crim- 
inal conduct (no less than the conduct of the ones which preceded it) 
while trying to fight a war at the same time — might find itself doubly 
wounded by the software of Bill Hamilton and Inslaw." 

And if you think that Bill Tyree's descriptions of the capabilities of enhanced 
PROMIS progeny are exaggerated then consider the following recent develop- 
ments from official sources: 



174 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

"At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, for example, the military's 
Alternative Control Technology Laboratory has experimented with systems 
that allow pilots to 'fly by thought. ' By controlling their brain waves, 
human subjects at the laboratory can steer a flight simulator lefi or right, 
up or down, a skill that most people at the lab master in only an hour. . . "3 
Caltech researchers have invented a "neurochip" that connects a net- 
work of living brain cells wired together to electrodes incorporated into a 
silicon chip. The neurochips were unveiled at the annual meeting of the 
Society for Neuroscience, held in New Orleans the week of October 25-30, 
1997. 4 




Vreeland I 

I'm sure you (and Mr. Taus) realize that the ideal "solution" for the dark 

forces is the gratuitous possibility that the target of discreditation, if 
subjected to the most personally embarrassing and socially reprehensible 
kind of (false) allegation, might self-destruct — thus reinforcing the 
concocted aura of suspicion and negating the necessity for further 
character assassination. 

This is standard MO for the Agency's counter-intelligence operations 
and has become a blueprint for other Federal entities as a means of 
quieting the most threatening whistle-blowers. Lo be it if you have any 
kind of vulnerability (or skeleton in the closet)! This is particularly the 
case in matters of sex or moral turpitude. How many have been taken 
out by suicide, devastated mentally or emotionally and institutionalized, 
or sought some escape in drugs and alcohol? Lives destroyed in one way 
or another in the pursuit of truth — by false accusation. 

Confirmed former CIA Agent Bradley Earl Ayers, 
In a letter to the author — April 3, 2000 

There is one man who spent a great deal of time and effort attempting to warn 
US and Canadian authorities of the attacks that occurred on September 1 1 th , 
2001. In spite of all the raging controversy that occurred around him, and around 
me for bringing him to light, there is one fact that cannot be denied. Both he and 
his Toronto attorneys Rocco Galati and Paul Slansky spent months in a well-doc- 
umented, indisputable, and ultimately futile effort to prevent those attacks. That 
can be easily established. From the moment I made the fateful decision to get 
involved in his case, this fact — and this fact alone — is the only thing that I have 
ever considered important about it. 

When one enters into the world of Delmart Edward Joseph Michael Vreeland 
one enters into a world where gravity seems to go up, and where red means go, and 
green means stop. It is not the Twilight Zone. It is a terribly real world, so unfamil- 
iar and counterintuitive that most people can't tolerate information about it. 



1 75 



176 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

They tend to go temporarily numb, or they fend off the new information in a 
more aggressive way. This subject triggers people's defenses so easily because it car- 
ries threatening implications about what the United States has become, and about 
our place in this order of things, and about human nature. 

Before proceeding it is necessary for you to meet some of the other people who 
live in this bizarre world. It is necessary because what is known about these men is 
documented, verifiable, and proven. Once you know a bit about them and their 
stories, Mike Vreeland will be just a little easier to take; his story just a little easier 
to understand. It is not necessary that you like these men. It is not necessary that 
you trust these men. What is necessary is that you accept that these men exist and 
that their stories are the interface between parallel universes, for the most part 
unseen in your life, but which determine much more of your reality than you are 
likely to suspect. Good or bad, these men have existed in the fault lines between 
the seemingly good and normal and the purely evil and deceptive. Almost all of 
them have been ground to dust for it. 

Brad Ayers 

It can never be asserted that Bradley Earl Ayers hasn't had anything to do with the 
Central Intelligence Agency. He has been interviewed by 60 Minutes. He has testi- 
fied before Congress, and he has been employed by the DEA as an expert covert 
operative and informant. A decorated army ranger, Ayers was seconded to the CIA's 
JM WAVE Miami station in the early 1960s, then run by one of the CIA's all time 
greatest spooks, Ted Shackley. Even Shackley himself acknowledged Ayers, a gifted 
writer, in his own very hard to find 1981 book, The Third Option. Shackley listed 
a 1976 book by Ayers {The War That Never Was) in his bibliography. 1 

During the Vietnam War a disillusioned Ayers, having completed his CIA mis- 
sions, resigned his army commission and spoke out against the war but continued 
to serve as a contract operative for the government. During the 1980s, as a DEA 
asset, Ayers became heavily involved in investigations of CIA air operations in 
south Florida tied to the Contras that led him to personally recover cocaine residue 
from aircraft operating on CIA-sponsored programs. He has provided me with 
DEA and other law enforcement records demonstrating not only his disclosure of 
CIA drug connections but of the arrest and prosecution of a senior customs offi- 
cial in south Florida as a result of his work. 

A man of honor, Ayers spoke out about the drugs and suffered the usual 
whistleblower punishments. Having committed no crimes of any kind and having 
few closet skeletons that could discredit him, Ayers was nonetheless subjected to 
15 years of major harassments including burglaries, threats, intimidations, and 
interferences in his business life. What real events could not provide to destroy 
Ayers, innuendo and dirty tricks took care of. 

In 1993 the US Marshals Service in Minneapolis issued a falsified caution notice 
with a photograph indicating that Ayers was possibly an armed and dangerous 



VREELAND I 177 



criminal suspect, apparently with the hopes that he would be shot. It nearly worked. 
At the time he was neither wanted, charged, or under investigation for anything 
except the fact that he was telling the truth. 

I have lost contact with this eloquent and straightforward man who had taken 
to living quietly in the woods with his pets, apparently the only living things he 
can trust. Someday I would like to shake his hand. 

Scott Barnes 

If ever there was a prototype of the mold that created Delmart "Mike" Vreeland, 
it is Scott Barnes. In US covert operations throughout the 1980s and even into the 
presidential campaign of 1992 Scott Barnes turns up everywhere. Lacking the kind 
of background that might support him as Ayers was supported by a distinguished 
military record, Barnes was one of the ideal personalities for the dirtiest and ugli- 
est secret missions — the kind the government can never afford to have exposed. 
There's a good reason why, and it has been best explained by authors Rodney Stich 
and T. Conan Russell in their expose of the BBRD&W affair that led to the CIA's 
takeover of ABC. It seems that Barnes was hired to assassinate Ronald Rewald, a 
financial player working for the CIA, who got a little too extravagant (a la Edwin 
Wilson below) and who wound up in jail in Hawaii. 

...a CIA contract agent, Scott Barnes, had decided to visit Hawaii, for a 
break from his problems on the mainland. At the same time he could ful- 
fill his latest assignment for the Agency. 

Barnes, the ultimate prototype contract agent because he could be so 
easily discredited by his checkered past, had become to a lesser degree a sen- 
sation on the mainland. This was primarily a result of his association with 
POW-MIA issues .... 

. . . the disinformation specialists had been active. At the time of the 
collapse of BBRD&W, Gritz, Barnes, and others had been thoroughly 
trashed in a special edition of Soldier of Fortune Magazine 2 

In spite of prior criminal allegations, a serious trail of bad publicity, and a less 
than stable work record, Barnes was hired by the prison ministry where Rewald 
was being held without being fingerprinted, photographed, having a background 
check run, or being issued ID, and he was given direct access to the intended 
target. Barnes reportedly changed his mind about the hit but Hawaiian author- 
ities, slightly suspicious, issued Barnes a subpoena that compromised the 
mission. 3 ABC News even reported that the CIA had hired Barnes to assassinate 
Rewald. 4 

Retired Army Special Forces Lt. Col. Bo Gritz, who had been involved with 
Barnes on an early POW search mission, did not have a high opinion of Barnes. 
Gritz wrote a rather disingenuous description of how Barnes became a part of one 
of his first POW missions. 



178 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

ISA 5 had run a pre-launch security check and OK'd all but Barnes. 
They said he had been released from the army after the first few months 
for accusing the commanding general of Fort Lewis, Washington, of 
running drugs! Barnes, they said, had been a clerk in the post stock- 
ade. After leaving the army Barnes got a job as a reserve policeman in 
Southern California. During the prosecution of Hell's Angels in San 
Francisco, Barnes volunteered to say that he had planted dope on the 
Angels as an undercover biker .... I decided to send Barnes anyway. 6 

As we will see in the section on Gritz we have two men, demonstrably and 
unfairly discredited by the government, who also discredit each other. This is the 
surreal world of covert operations, and it is not a place for neophyte researchers 
whose thought processes are not yet adapted to the perversity of the intelligence 
business. They tend to get intellectually panicked, as I have seen many seasoned 
journalists do, when presented with contradictions of this kind. The only thing 
that works is patient, diligent research and a suspension of judgments based upon 
any one official document or published news report. The investigation of the men 
and women who surface in connection with covert operations is a painstaking, 
frustrating, groping-in-the-dark process that requires singular analytical skills and 
the ability to withhold any automatic acceptance of data that the normal world 
accepts instantly. 

One woman who did a masterful job of walking these minefields with Barnes 
is Monika Jensen-Stevenson, a former Emmy Award-winning producer from CBS's 
60 Minutes and the author of Kiss The Boys Goodbye, one of the best books on 
covert operations I have ever read. Aside from being a nuts-and-bolts deconstruc- 
tion of the US government's shameful abandonment of Vietnam-era POWs, it is 
also a blueprint of the ways in which the government neutralizes popular move- 
ments arising in response to government crimes that can no longer be hidden. I 
cannot recommend a better book for anyone trying to deal with the crimes of the 
US government connected to 9/11. 

Jensen-Stevenson dealt extensively with Barnes. At her disposal she had the 
financial and research resources of CBS News plus a full-time assignment to find 
out what had happened to American servicemen left behind in Southeast Asia. It 
took her more than a year of full-time work. These were resources I was not to have 
when I decided to take on the case of Mike Vreeland. But with Vreeland, as it turns 
out, I was to have one advantage that she did not. 

In Kiss The Boys Goodbye, Jensen-Stevenson concluded that Barnes had, in fact, 
been a US government operative. So, as she reported, had Texas billionaire Ross 
Perot who was deeply involved in POW rescue efforts. CBS News facilitated mul- 
tiple polygraph examinations by the CIA's retired top polygraph examiner who was 
regarded as the best in the business. Barnes passed them all with flying colors. Later 
Barnes was submitted to videotaped questioning under heavy doses of "truth serum" 
by a psychiatrist and again passed with flying colors. Later, documents surfaced 



VREELAND I 179 



indicating that he had worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and it 
was confirmed that he had done undercover work, while these relationships exist- 
ed, with the Hell's Angels. 

Admirals, army officers, and intelligence operatives surfaced stating that Barnes 
was who he said he was and inside information he provided regularly proved accu- 
rate. He was questioned by congressional investigators looking into Iran-Contra, 
and he also testified before congress on POW issues. During the course of her 
investigations for 60 Minutes, Jensen-Stevenson described how Barnes was nearly 
killed in a knife attack and how he had relayed details of the attack — before call- 
ing for medical assistance — to someone he thought he could trust. At the same 
time he was systematically trashed by the press, his name being blackened in media 
stories to the point where he could not find employment. 

He always spoke to Jensen-Stevenson in strings of code words and jargon. He 
tape recorded almost everything he did, and after months of dealing with him and 
triple checking and verifying almost of all of his information, Monika described 
him thus: 

What was worrisome was Barnes's ability to pick up so much detail. He 
reminded me of a certain kind of con artist. Perhaps his personality had 
seemed ideal for secret operations. He had a phenomenal memory to recre- 
ate reality. And he really believed what he said. 

Casino Man [a code name for one of Jensen-Stevenson's military 
sources] counterbalanced our skepticism by saying he had known Barnes 
in Vietnam. According to Casino Man, Barnes had worked with 
Command and Control North, the super-secret unconventional warfare 
group in Laos and North Vietnam. And Barnes himself talked knowing- 
ly about CCNJ 

I met Scott Barnes in 1992. In that fateful year I had served as the Los Angeles 
County press spokesman for the Perot presidential campaign. Though I was to be 
greatly disappointed by Perot's sudden withdrawal from the campaign (for reasons 
which I later concluded had to do with assuring a Clinton victory), I had been one 
of Perot's staunchest supporters. I was committed to serving the campaign of a 
man who had spoken out publicly about the CIA connection to drugs and the fate 
of the POWs. My non-stop dedication in the campaign resulted in a People mag- 
azine story about me in June of that year. It was only later that pieces fell together 
for me which suggested that Perot had led us all on a wild goose chase in a cam- 
paign that he had never intended to win. 

At the time of Perot's abrupt withdrawal from the campaign in July — when 
he was ahead of both George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton in the polls — it was wide- 
ly reported that he had received information that his daughter was about to be 
"exposed" as a lesbian in a fabricated "smear." Other stories surfaced in the press 
that attempts had been, and were going to be, made on Perot's life. 



180 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Who was the person who took the information to Perot that ostensibly caused 
him to withdraw? It was none other than Scott Barnes. Perot himself vouched for 
many of Barnes's spook credentials as the American media went crazy. 

After Perot's withdrawal I worked for a while with an experienced freelance 
journalist named Connie Benesch who had decided that she was going to write a 
book about what had really happened in the campaign. Barnes lived in the beach 
cities south of Los Angeles, and Connie and I drove down and had lunch with him. 

Barnes was a fast talker, pleasant, decent looking and full of incredible tales, 
angles, and insights that came out faster than we could assimilate. At times empa- 
thetic, at times pathetic, at times not credible, and at times utterly convincing, 
Barnes let us have it for two hours. After the lunch was over, Connie, being the 
lead writer and financier of the book, was in an understandable sort of mental 
gridlock. So was I. There was no way to get to the bottom of Scott Barnes with- 
out the resources of CBS News, an unlimited budget, and the patience of Job. 

Connie made the decision that most journalists make with people like Barnes, 
she decided not to "go there." Other less responsible journalists have in the past — 
and certainly since 9/11 — taken a worse approach: "destroy what you can't explain 
so that no one else can make you look bad later for not having done the work." 

Gary Eitel 

This decorated Vietnam helicopter pilot at one time flew courier missions for the 
CIA under orders. A skilled pilot in all types of aircraft, as well as a lawyer, Eitel is 
the man who single-handedly exposed the CIA's role in the C-130 Hercules scan- 
dal. He has been interviewed by 60 Minutes, the US Congress, and as a 
whistleblower/attorney served as a federal prosecutor in the case. He was the prin- 
cipal source for my own reporting on the C-130 scandal. 8 After the Vietnam War, 
Eitel had been approached by a CIA officer named Branson in an attempt to 
recruit him for what Eitel quickly determined were illegal missions. Eitel refused. 
The CIA man told him, "We would have set you up and then burned you," Eitel 
recalls Branson saying. "And then we would have owned you for life." This is the 
way the CIA likes to work. 

As a reward for his courageous efforts, Eitel was denied legal payment of 
monies due him as a result of the case and driven into bankruptcy. Because he had 
no criminal record and was a man of honor, a local smear campaign, including law 
enforcement threats and unwarranted actions against his family, was launched in 
an attempt to discredit and punish him. It resulted in a divorce and the loss of his 
home. Eitel remains a good friend and man for whom I have the greatest respect. 
A true survivor, he now travels the country in a motor home with two dogs. 

John McCarthy 

In 1967 US Army Special Forces Captain John McCarthy was detached to a secret 
CIA assassination team run out of Saigon known as Project Cherry. In 1968 he was 



VREELAND I 18 1 



framed and unjustly convicted in a secret trial for the assassination of a Cambodian 
double agent in what later evidence suggested was a "rogue" CIA operation intend- 
ed to prolong the Vietnam War. In fact, within minutes of McCarthy's conviction, 
which suggested that the US had sabotaged and betrayed one of its own covert 
operations, the 1968 Tet offensive began. 

Although it was later disclosed that the CIA, the army, and the government had 
withheld evidence that would have cleared McCarthy, his life has been plagued 
with the continuing reemergence of old and unfounded press stories at times when 
it was thought that he might be a threat. Even though the conviction was eventu- 
ally set aside, McCarthy was subsequently denied employment as a police officer 
and in other careers. 

Thirty-five years later, McCarthy is still pursuing legal remedies both to clear 
his name and to secure benefits to which he is entitled. Like Gary Eitel, John 
McCarthy is a man whose word I would take at face value any day, a warrior who 
has remained true to a warrior's code even as the rest of the world has forgotten 
the meaning of the word "honor." 9 

Terry Reed 

Terry Reed was a fairly small-time player in the Iran-Contra scandal, but he was 
definitely involved. A pilot, air force veteran, and businessman, Reed became 
involved with Oliver North, Felix Rodriguez, Barry Seal, and several of the major 
players. His chief threat to the CIA and the American political establishment was 
that he could connect the Clintons, the CIA, Oliver North, Bill Casey, and drug- 
running through the Mena, Arkansas, Intermountain Airport all into one package. 

Reed's fate was that both he and his wife were prosecuted and investigated for 
years on charges of insurance fraud in the alleged theft of their own airplane. This 
turned out to be connected to what is now a well-documented part of the Contra 
support operations run by Oliver North. These covert funding schemes involved 
widespread insurance "bust outs" and faked airplane thefts to provide airplanes, 
money, and supplies for an operation that Congress had prohibited. In several 
instances "friendly" insurance companies even participated in the schemes. 10 Reed 
fought back with the help of an honorable public defender named Marilyn Trubey 
and eventually beat all the criminal charges, but at great cost. 

As Reed became a public figure toward the tail end of the Contra investigations, 
and as he decided to fight back against efforts to silence him, things got a bit stick- 
ier. His filing of a civil suit against the government that might have seriously hurt 
Bill Clinton right before the 1992 presidential election didn't help much either. On 
more than one occasion notices complete with photographs were placed in FBI com- 
puters stating that both he and his wife Janice were possibly armed and dangerous. 11 

To make matters worse, after putting his faith in TIME magazine and spend- 
ing months with reporter Richard Behar, Reed's reputation and much of the truth 
of Iran-Contra were done away with as Reed was labeled a con man in 1992. 



182 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



When TIME says it, your life is virtually over. I remember reading the story and 
wondering how any human being posing as a journalist could lie so obviously 
about many of the Iran-Contra truths that were even then well documented. 
Reed's book contains transcripts of tape-recorded interviews where Behar wore soft 
kid gloves with the likes of Oliver North and deliberately overlooked obvious leads 
and facts that Reed had documented beyond reproach. 12 

There is a disappointing endnote to the Reed affair. I have spoken to Reed sev- 
eral times and met with him in person here in Los Angeles. At that time he gave 
me some information about his relationship with the drug smuggler Barry Seal 
that investigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker and I later determined had been embel- 
lished by Reed. Reed even admitted the embellishment to Hopsicker later. 

The truth is that while the government and the intelligence agencies can com- 
mit a million crimes, lie through their teeth, and still enjoy credibility, the slightest 
mistake by an otherwise innocent victim renders him "smelly." There are many 
portions of Reed's book that I, and others familiar with Iran-Contra, find implau- 
sible and difficult to accept. But much of what Reed said about Mena, the CIA, 
and Bill Clinton is dead-on accurate. It has been confirmed by other sources, other 
records, other court cases, and other investigations. 

Bill Tyree 

I have written extensively on the case of this former member of the US Army's 10 th 
Special Forces Group. He was briefly mentioned in Chapter 8 on PROMIS software. 
Tyree has been incarcerated for 25 years on a life sentence for the murder of his wife 
who was also in the army and who had been documenting crimes at Fort Devens, 
Massachusetts, where both were based. The prosecution of the case was in itself 
unusual. The original trial judge, having reviewed a very weak prosecution case, dis- 
missed all the charges, indicating clearly that the suspect was another member of the 
10 th Special Forces Group. However a young assistant DA. from Middlesex County, 
Massachusetts, named John Kerry, reinstituted the prosecution under another judge. 

Kerry is now, of course, the junior senator from Massachusetts and the 
Democratic Party presidential nominee in 2004. 

Tyree's subsequent conviction could be described as falling well outside stan- 
dard legal procedures in Massachusetts and, for 20 years, myriad attempts to 
challenge the conviction have been uniformly denied. Many of the evidentiary 
inconsistencies in the case were discussed in a 2000 episode of Bill Curtis's 
Investigative Reports titled "Murder at Fort Devens." 

Another key aspect of Tyree's case was the now well-documented and system- 
atic alteration of his military service records and continuing refusals to release 
official documents in the case. Many documents obtained by Tyree and his attor- 
neys have been heavily redacted in the interests of national security. 13 From The 
Wilderness sells a comprehensive report on the Tyree case from its website con- 
taining many of these documents. 



VREELAND I 183 



While Tyree has been consistently demonstrated to be a reliable source of 
information and someone in whom officials like members of the RCMP National 
Security Staff have expressed great interest, he has also proved himself capable of 
being deceptive and misleading. On more than one occasion I have found various 
pieces of information he provided to be self-serving and questionable. Like Barnes 
and Reed before him — and Mike Vreeland after him — Tyree demonstrated the 
ability to mix in "bullshit with the ice cream." Yet there remains no doubt that he 
has been severely victimized in a game that he himself chose to play. 

Ed Wilson 

In 1983 the trial of "former" CIA officer Ed Wilson was at a critical juncture. At 
the end of the trial Wilson's attorneys had made a good case that his activities in 
arming Moammar Qadaffy, the man who was then considered the world's num- 
ber-one terrorist, had taken place at the direction of the CIA. The CIA, however, 
insisted that Wilson had stopped working for them in 1971. Wilson stood 
accused of shipping 42,000 pounds of the plastic explosive C-4 directly to Libyan 
dictator Qadaffy in 1977, and then hiring US experts — former US Army Green 
Berets — to teach Qaddafy's people how to make bombs shaped like lamps, ash- 
trays, and radios. Bombs were actually made, and foes of Qaddafy were actually 
murdered. 

This was the ongoing crime that had made Wilson, and his still-missing (and 
believed dead) accomplice, former CIA employee Frank Terpil, the most infamous 
desperadoes in the world. C-4, according to some experts, was at the time the most 
powerful non-nuclear explosive made. Two pounds in the right places can bring 
down a jumbo jet. Hence, 42,000 pounds would be enough to bring down 21,000 
jumbo jets. C-4 is highly prized on the world's black markets and is much in 
demand. It is supposedly very tightly controlled where it is manufactured: in the US. 

At first the CIA hoped to kill the defense's well-documented argument of 
ongoing CIA relationships by having a CIA officer testifying under a pseudonym. 
But when it was learned that the trial judge would allow the witness to be cross- 
examined, the CIA took another tack. An affidavit prepared by the CIA's then 
Executive Director, Charles Briggs, stating that Wilson had had no official rela- 
tionship with the Agency since 1971, was submitted under oath as a rebuttal 
document and given to the jury. Members of the jury later admitted that the affi- 
davit had carried weight in their deliberations and subsequent guilty verdict. The 
problem was that the affidavit was itself an act of perjury. 

In January of 2000, after reviewing more than 900 pages of newly submitted 
documents in the case and after assistance from Wilson's new lawyer David Adler 
— himself a former CIA case officer — / was able to publish an internal CIA mem- 
orandum showing that the writer or writers of the affidavit had known it to be false at 
the time the CIA presented it under penalty of perjury, and at the time when CIA 
General Counsel Stanley Sporkin affixed the CIA seal to it. The CIA internal 



184 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



memo indicated no less than "80 non-social contacts" between Wilson and the 
Agency after 1971, and some of those were very close in time to the Qadaffy deal. 
I published a copy of the relevant part of the affidavit in the January 2000 issue of 
FTW. U I did receive one letter from Wilson, then held at the maximum security 
Allenwood federal penitentiary, thanking me for my story, and that was it. 

Ed Wilson's conviction was overturned in October of 2003. A probe of the DoJ 
officials involved with the perjurious memorandum was instituted in December, 
and the following February the DoJ announced that it would not retry Wilson on 
the charges. 15 

There are many other cases I am familiar with that I could include here to show 
that when it comes to criminal records, testimony, affidavits, official statements 
from prosecutors, or anything to do with the character of whistleblowers or leak- 
ers, nothing coming from an official source can be taken at face value. Every one 
of the people I have described in this chapter has been shown — after the contro- 
versies surrounding the person's case had subsided — to have had a real connection 
to covert operations. Finally, consider the case of John "Sparky" McLaughlin, an 
intrepid and honest Pennsylvania state narc who uncovered direct evidence link- 
ing the CIA to Dominican drug dealers operating on the Eastern seaboard. 

As a reward for McLaughlin's integrity, in 1996 a major smear campaign was 
launched against him in print, on television, and inside the Pennsylvania govern- 
ment. Both McLaughlin and his straight-arrow squad have survived years of 
administrative punishment, bankruptcies, loss of pay and benefits, and they are 
still fighting the good fight to clear their names. 16 It took Sparky and his colleagues 
seven years to win a $1.5 million judgment against their tormentors. 

Of the more than 20 cases I have investigated, in many instances having met 
or spoken with those involved, I can name only four men whom I consider to 
be totally trustworthy, honest, and straight-talkers: Brad Ayers, Gary Eitel, John 
McCarthy, and John McLaughlin. 

It is now possible to take a look at the case of Mike Vreeland and try to judge 
its significance for 9/11. 

Before I ever met Vreeland's attorneys or published a word about the case, Bill 
Tyree called me from his prison cell and warned, "They're going to turn Vreeland 
into a 'honey pot.'" A honey pot, in intelligence jargon, is a tempting source of 
information or "dangle" that is set out to lure intended victims into a trap. 
Ultimately the honey pot is violently and maliciously discredited so as to destroy 
the credibility of anything stuck to it by association. In some cases the honey pot 
is an innocent victim. But in many other cases he or she is a willing part of the 
plot, serving covert interests in order to cut a deal for themself. 

Mike Vreeland 

As early as November of 2001, I started getting e-mails about a case in Toronto 
concerning a man who was claiming to be an officer in what was traditionally 



VREELAND I 18S 



called the Office of Naval Intelligence and who had forewarned of the attacks of 
9/11. I had been sent a copy of an October 23 Toronto Star story, by a reporter 
named Nick Pron, that described the basics of the case. The man, Delmart "Mike" 
Vreeland, had been held in jail since December of 2000 and was fighting extradi- 
tion to Michigan on charges of credit card fraud. According to Pron's story, 
Vreeland had written a sealed warning of the attacks a month before 9/11 and 
handed it to his jailers. The note had been opened on September 14. 17 

Pron's story was about a 35-year-old man who claimed to have been part of a 
special US Navy undercover unit investigating both organized crime and drug 
smuggling and who had recently returned from a secret mission to Moscow. Pron 
described what I took to be a cover story concerning Vreeland's claims that he had 
been dispatched to retrieve or examine documents concerning the Star Wars mis- 
sile defense system. He returned from Russia only to be jailed, almost 
immediately, on the fugitive warrant from Michigan. Right off the bat I suspect- 
ed that this was the tip of a tiny tail fin on the back of the Loch Ness monster. If 
Vreeland was for real he was making the most common mistake I have seen made 
in such cases. He was trying to serve two masters by simultaneously trying to 
prove his credentials while also attempting to prove his loyalty to a system that 
had written him off. 

I had already amassed substantial information showing that foreign intelli- 
gence services had been sending the CIA, the FBI, and even the White House 
extremely specific warnings about the attacks for months before they happened. 
Taken together, warnings from French, German, and Russian intelligence alone 
showed that al Qaeda was intending to crash hijacked airliners into the World 
Trade Center in the week of September 9 th , 2001. Not only had those warnings 
gone unheeded, no one in the government was acknowledging even their receipt. 
This was in spite of the fact that major European papers such as the Guardian and 
Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung, as well as the British Broadcasting Corporation, 
were basing their reports on interviews and documents provided directly by the 
intelligence services themselves. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin, after leav- 
ing a live NPR radio broadcast in Manhattan on September 15, went on 
MS-NBC and stated clearly that in August of 2001, he had ordered Russian intel- 
ligence to send specific messages to the CIA including details of the attacks. Putin 
had also sent a warning to George W. Bush "in the strongest possible terms" about 
planes being crashed into buildings and other specifics. Russian news stories had 
proved even more revealing about how much the Russian government knew 
beforehand. 

One story from Izvestia was to subsequently have a key paragraph removed but 
not until after my staff had archived the story for safekeeping. I made sure to 
obtain two different translations to make sure that the wording was correct. We 
have posted the original story in Russian on the FTW website. 18 Portions in bold 
were subsequently deleted from the Izvestia website: 



186 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

September 12, 2001 (14:15) Yesterday at the headquarters of Central 
Intelligence Service in Langley a confidential meeting between one of the 
Deputy Directors of CIA and a special messenger of Russian Intelligence 
Service took place. According to NewsRu sources he delivered to his 
American colleagues some documents including audiotapes with telephone 
conversations directly relating to terrorist attacks on Washington and New 
York last Tuesday. According to these sources, Russian Intelligence agents 
know the organizers and executors of these terrorist attacks. More than 
that, Moscow warned Washington about preparation to these actions a 
couple of weeks before they happened. 

Russian Intelligence Service states that behind the terrorist attacks on 
Washington and New York stands the organization ofUsama ben laden, 
Islamic movement of Uzbekistan and Taliban government. According to 
our intelligence agents among terrorists there were at least two Uzbeks, 
natives of Fergana, who arrived in the U.S.A. on forged documents about 
ten months ago. A terrorist group which realized actions against the U.S. A 
consisted of at least 25 people. All of them had a special training on the 
territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan including piloting of an aircraft. 

The Izvestia mention of audiotapes of telephone conversations was one of about 
six different news stories and other records — some from the US government — 
indicating that all of al Qaeda's supposedly secure communications had been com- 
promised well before the attacks. 

My first inclination was to avoid Vreeland because I thought that I understood 
how messy a story like this could be. But several readers kept prodding me to look 
into it. I didn't know what "messy" meant. 

Our FTW investigations of 9/1 1 were traveling the globe at the speed of light, 
and I was quickly being booked for eight months of speaking engagements that 
would see me traveling more than 90,000 air miles in 2002. One of the first lec- 
tures booked was at the University of Toronto for January 17 th , followed by a 
repeat performance two nights later. 

Readers who had noted the two or three limited mentions of Vreeland in the 
Canadian press pressured me to investigate while in Toronto. Being wary of tip- 
ping off my moves too far in advance I waited until I was in the boarding area at 
LAX on November 16 th to call and leave a message for Rocco Galati, one of 
Vreeland's lawyers. Galati returned the call quickly. He was eager to meet me. 

On January 17, I took a cab to the Toronto criminal courts building to 
observe a hearing in the case. Security was incredibly tight. Not only was I 
scanned with a hand-held metal detector, every item in my pockets and briefcase 
was individually inspected. Entering the almost empty courtroom I saw Vreeland 
sitting shackled at counsel table in jailhouse coveralls. Galati wore the black robes 
and wig that are de rigueur in Crown legal proceedings. The bailiffs were obvi- 
ously on high alert. 



VREELAND I 187 



Vreeland, gray, gaunt, fatigued, and jumpy, turned quickly to see who I was. 
He leaned over to Galati who turned, looked, recognized me from my picture on 
the website, and whispered in Vreeland's ear. I took out my notebook and listened. 

The hearing had been in progress for some time, but the first thing I heard was 
the judge making a reference to having portions of certain documents deleted stat- 
ing, "these items shall be deleted by means of scissors and once deleted, should be 
destroyed." 

Having had no real access to information, I could only scribble notes of por- 
tions of the hearing that seemed pertinent. There was discussion by counsel from 
both sides indicating that Vreeland had, in fact, provided witness testimony against 
organized crime interests in Michigan in a case involving a Bobby Moore and that 
he was also a Crown witness in a continuing investigation and prosecution of a Nestor 
Fonseca who had been connected to a Canadian murder plot. 

With that much confirmed, and through watching an animated Vreeland in his 
chair at counsel table, I was rapidly concluding that Vreeland's case was totally 
consistent with what prior experience had told me to expect. 

The Crown Solicitor made a good point. Vreeland and his attorneys were alleg- 
ing that he had been sent to Moscow in 2000 to retrieve extremely sophisticated 
scientific information connected to the Star Wars missile defense system that only 
he could evaluate. From my knowledge of covert operations this had to be a cover 
story. It was ludicrous to believe that the US government would ever send any per- 
son with the kind of technical knowledge required to evaluate top secret technology 
into a foreign land. In fact the travels of such people within the US intelligence 
and scientific community is closely monitored and restricted. This would be mak- 
ing a gift of the real secrets to the enemy. 

Vreeland had allegedly returned from Moscow with several sealed pouches of 
intelligence data. Galati made a point of telling the court that he had not seen 
the pouches and had no first-hand knowledge of what they contained. The 
Crown Solicitor then referred to Vreeland's military record. I noticed that 
Vreeland's fair-complexioned lawyer Galati, who looked like a cherubic, playful 
pit bull, became animated any time Vreeland's military records were mentioned. 
It was immediately obvious that Galati did not suffer fools gladly, and he was 
not afraid to let the court see his emotions. This, I have found, is both a gift and 
a curse of anyone who is certain of his intellectual and factual foundations. I liked 
him immediately. 

The Crown Solicitor asked why the US government would send someone who 
had been discharged from the navy after only a few months, with minimal educa- 
tion, and official training in the tool and die field to evaluate top secret scientific 
material in Russia. This was a good rhetorical question, given the Crown's position 
that Vreeland had only been in the navy for a few months. But Galati kept remind- 
ing the court that the records were inconsistent, that they had been altered, and 
that some of them indicated that Vreeland's service record was over 1 ,200 pages in 



188 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



length, not bad for someone who had only served for a few months before being 
discharged as unfit. Some were dated well after his supposed discharge date. 

Then, just about 1 5 minutes later, I heard the Crown Solicitor step through the 
looking glass into the parallel universe. 

He was rebutting the claim that Vreeland's other lawyer, Paul Slansky, had previ- 
ously made a phone call from the (open) courtroom to the Pentagon switchboard. 
And in that phone call a Pentagon operator had confirmed Vreeland's rank as a naval 
lieutenant (impossible for someone who only served a few months) and provided 
Slansky with an office number and a direct dial phone number. To counter this claim 
the Crown Solicitor then suggested that Vreeland, who had been held without bail 
for more than a year on a non-capital offense, had somehow hacked into the 
Pentagon's computer system from his jail cell and altered the Pentagon's database. 

Galati was vibrating with frustration from his chair as the Crown Solicitor also 
suggested that "Vreeland-the-Idiot" had somehow translated documents in 
Russian and Albanian and then had them posted on a secure and unknown web- 
site. Galati was quick to point out to the court that Vreeland didn't speak Russian 
or Albanian and he was wondering why the Crown Solicitor was so quick to have 
Vreeland be both a village idiot and a criminal mastermind at the same time. 

This was all too familiar, but I was not making up my mind until after I had 
spoken to both Galati and Slansky. That was most definitely going to happen 
before I went anywhere near Vreeland personally. Looking at him in the court- 
room, all I could see was a gigantic wriggling can of worms. 

At one point the Crown Solicitor made a statement that I was careful to record 
exactly. "The inescapable inference [of Vreeland's allegations] is that US intelli- 
gence had that information as early as 2000 and made no effective use of it." 
Exactly, I thought. Exactly! That is why they must destroy him and anyone who 
makes him credible. 

The hearing ended inconclusively on issues of bail, a safe house, and the very 
interesting issue of why Galati and Slansky were not being allowed to submit evi- 
dence supporting Vreeland's claims or the right to call US witnesses. I decided that 
there were only two litmus tests that would affect my decision to get involved. First, 
was there definitive proof that this so called warning note — which I had not yet 
seen — had been written prior to 9/ 1 1 ? And second, was it a certainty that Vreeland 
had been referring to the 9/11 attacks when the note was written? A "No" answer 
to either question would mean that I could happily brush my hands and walk away. 

Galati and I left the courtroom together. We were joined in the cafeteria by his 
co-counsel Paul Slansky. Where Galati seemed brilliant and fiery, the bearded, 
dark-haired Slansky appeared by contrast methodical, good natured, conservative, 
and subdued. I was later to learn that Slansky also had exhibited moments of 
pique. Both men, who together had more than 30 years of legal experience, most 
of it as Canadian federal prosecutors — the US equivalent of assistant United 
States Attorneys — struck me as respectable and competent men. Neither one was 



VREELAND I 189 



making a fortune off the case, as Vreeland at that time was almost indigent. They 
believed in what they were doing. 

I asked the two important questions right away. Both men were clear and 
unequivocal in their answers. They stated that they knew of a certainty that 
Vreeland had written the note in mid-August, a month before the attacks, that it 
could be proven, and that they were even then trying to get the court to do just 
that. They were also absolutely certain that Vreeland had been referring specifical- 
ly to the attacks of 9/1 1 when the note was written. 

They added that what was not acknowledged in the press was that they had 
spent months trying to alert Canadian and US officials about the attacks, and that 
the attempts had all been documented. In playing a cat-and-mouse game with US 
intelligence agencies they had declined post 9/11 invitations for meetings with US 
consular officials in the US or at the US consulate out of fear that they would be 
taken and held. One meeting involving Galati had actually been held in the same 
cafeteria where we then sat. Neither man had the slightest doubt that Vreeland had 
worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence or in some similar capacity, possibly for 
the CIA. And both men admitted what I already knew to be true. Mike Vreeland 
was an erratic, volatile, frightened, and sometimes inconsistent royal pain in the ass. 

I also learned that both men had been seriously intimidated since taking on the 
case. Both had been followed. Galati had had a dead cat hung on his porch, and 
Slansky's car had been burglarized with a rear window smashed out. I was to ride 
in that car days later and see the broken window for myself. Both men believed 
that their offices were bugged and their telephones monitored. 

Over the course of my four-day stay in Toronto I spent about ten hours with 
the two lawyers. They were, in my opinion, exactly what they presented them- 
selves as, serious and ethical attorneys with solid professional reputations who were 
devastated by 9/11 and the fact that they knew that they had possibly been in a 
position to help prevent the attacks and yet had been systematically ignored. 

Galati took me to his law office in the Italian district. It was piled high every- 
where with case files and clothing he needed for court appearances. He readily 
opened his Vreeland files to me and showed me his notes. Page after page docu- 
mented phone calls and letters to Canadian and US officials in the months prior 
to 9/11, especially in August. All he and Slansky had asked for was that Vreeland 
be taken to a safe place and thoroughly debriefed about what he knew. They had 
encountered nothing but resistance. 

The note 

One futile meeting where two junior RCMP officials traveled to interview Vreeland 
in his lock up had produced no results. Out of frustration and desperation a 
scheme had been concocted whereby Vreeland would write details of his warning, 
couched in terms better understood by intelligence officials at the Pentagon, 
and seal them in an envelope. As a means of proving that the note was written 



190 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

before the attacks Vreeland acquired two fine-point, light-blue ink pens, which 
were considered contraband by his jailers. All inmates were required to have only 
Bic medium-point blue pens, and their cells were regularly searched to remove any 
contraband. One reason for this is that other types of pens are preferred tattooing 
instruments, and if permitted they expose jails to medical liability issues. 

Once the note was written with the forbidden pens it was sealed in an enve- 
lope, placed into Vreeland's personal property out of his reach, and there it 
remained until it was opened by Canadian officials on September 14, 2001. 
Contents of the letter were immediately forwarded to Ottawa while the letter itself 
was submitted as Exhibit "N" in Vreeland's case on October 7 th . To my knowledge 
the original letter still remains in Vreeland's case files in Toronto. 

Exhibit "M" in the case — a letter written by the Ministry of Correctional 
Services and dated September 17, 2001 — states that on August 13, 2001, 
Vreeland's cell was searched and that two "contraband" ink pens were confiscated. 
No record exists of them having been booked into his property and an August 14 th 
written request by Vreeland to have them returned was subsequently denied. 

The current status of those pens is unclear, and the court repeatedly refused to 
have the ink on Vreeland's letter tested and compared with the pens that could not 
have been in his possession after August 14 th . I later asked Vreeland, Slansky, and 
Galati how often Vreeland's cell had been searched after mid-August, and they all 
indicated that it had been a regular occurrence. No other contraband had been 
found or seized since. 

In an interview for this book conducted in late November 2002 I reaffirmed 
what had been told to me in a conversation with Slansky. Yes, he was absolutely 
certain that the note had been written a month before the attack. And as to 
whether he was certain that the note and Vreeland's near-panicked attempts to 
warn of attacks in August were about 9/11 — and nothing else — Slansky left no 
doubt. "I didn't know what was in the note when he wrote it. Right after 
September 11 th I thought that the attacks were what Vreeland had been referring 
to. But when I saw the note I was absolutely certain." 

The fact that the note had been sealed into evidence a month before the attacks 
was never officially disputed by Canadian officials until the summer of 2002. It 
had certainly never been disputed in a courtroom. And even then the denial was 
weak. Journalist and publisher Sander Hicks, after a six-month investigation into 
the case produced a lengthy and detailed investigation of the Vreeland saga for the 
Guerilla News Network (<www.guerrillanews.com/>), which had recently won an 
award at the Sundance Film Festival for a short documentary on CIA's involve- 
ment in the drug trade. In his story Hicks wrote, 

However, a [summer 2002] phone call to the Canadian prosecution team 
resulted in new, somewhat murky results. When I asked Assistant D.A. 
Dorette Hugins to confirm that the prosecution didn't dispute that the 



VREELAND I 19 1 



notes were handed to the jailers in mid-August 2001, she immediately 
said, that "Yes, it is true. "A minute later, she changed her answer to, "No, 
the prosecution now thinks he got the notes to the jailers after 9/11. " 19 

By the time that story was published, Delmart "Mike" Vreeland was either a 
fugitive from justice, the victim of a kidnapping, or something else. 

This was a head of the hydra of covert operations sticking up out of a hole into 
the parallel universe where "normal" people live. I was going to have very limited 
time and no ability to investigate anywhere nearly as completely as Monika 
Jensen-Stevenson had with Scott Barnes. 

Once I looked at the note I saw that indeed it mentioned Osama bin Laden, 
the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon. It also mentioned other things that 
had been prominently in the news right after the attacks: Sears Towers, water sup- 
plies, the White House, the Navy Pier, and several Canadian targets. 

Two chilling sentences appeared in the top half: "They will paint me crazy and 
call me a liar"; and "let one happen — stop the rest!!!" The last phrase was the most 
important item on the note. It directly implied that US intelligence services had 
achieved complete penetration of al Qaeda cells involved in the attacks. This was 
something I had suspected. 

The lower half of the note was filled with a variety of names that had little 
immediate significance. I did recognize the name "ulista petrovka" as being a street 
or place in downtown Moscow not far from Red Square. Upon returning to L.A., 
I checked a few of the names to see what I could find quickly One in particular 
was Chalva Tchigirinsky, (Vreeland had misspelled it) who was connected some- 
how with money. It did not take long for me to confirm that Tchigirinski was a 
Russian oil executive who had business relationships with BP and Gazprom, the 
company that had been trying to build the trans-Afghan gas pipeline from 
Turkmenistan. Tchigirinski's interests stretched into Central Asia and the Caspian. 
He was also president of the Moscow Oil Company. 

Later on a talented researcher named Nico Haupt was to forward me a detailed 
background on Tchigirinski, which elaborated further on his oil, real estate, and 
business ventures, including a deal signed in early 2002 with Halliburton. 
Tchigirinski was an oligarch. 

One other entry stood out, but there was little I could do with it at the moment. 
It was significant because it was the second place where "World Trade Center" had 
been written. The entry read "world trade center/in jail (Dr. Haider)?" 

As luck would have it, a brave young woman named Greta Knutzen came to 
both of my lectures in Toronto. A fresh college graduate, the British expatriate liv- 
ing in Toronto offered her services to me in any way I thought might help. 
Knowing that Vreeland's case would require more local attention than I could pos- 
sibly give, I immediately hired her as a part-time correspondent. This would have 
been a daunting task for a seasoned journalist who knew something about intelli- 
gence. Yet Greta was willing, and she was very brave, and she would solve the 



192 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



(3 



6J<r& Z^t^ &>&k 
/ic/rfr 



This is Exhibit.--"- JT. 

/ V.:.*-'-- 



r. SAT 



^"'Zrtgft. * 

- *£• /■ 

C — ^ 'I'SJZiiA 





4t 



//St/Ac? 



'5- — 





'Si r A**Ks.^, 



(».y mo «<><■ ex ec ute J_fi 



VREELAND I 193 



mystery of Dr. Haider. Here are some excerpts of her first story that I published 
in the February issue of From The Wilderness. 

US and Canadian Governments' position crumbling in the case of a 
US intelligence officer with foreknowledge of 9/ 1 1 attacks 

by 

Greta Knutzen, FTW Staff Writer 

TORONTO, February 29, 2002 — A man who claims to be a US 
intelligence officer accurately predicted the September 1 1 attacks on 
the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, recently unsealed court 
documents show. 

Delmart Edward Mike Vreeland is currently incarcerated in a 
Toronto prison. His claims, however, are corroborated by evidence 
that has surfaced during his ongoing court battle in Canada. Court 
hearings in late February have only deepened the mystery and added 
to the list of questions, calling into question the integrity of the 
US government. 

Vreeland has been subject to physical attacks while behind bars, 
indicating that the certain death he fears if he is returned to the US 
might become a reality behind the jailhouse walls in Toronto. 

Yet, despite Vreeland's repeated attempts to inform them, both the 
American and Canadian governments have oddly and inexplicably 
refused to listen. Their argument goes something like this: Vreeland is 
not perceived to be trustworthy or credible. Therefore, nothing he 
says can be deemed trustworthy or credible. But they have never seen 
fit to ask how he knew of the attacks in the first place. 

Vreeland's story does indeed resemble something that John 
Grisham might produce in the throes of a caffeine-induced frenzy. 
However, Vreeland's story begins to look less like the stuff of unadul- 
terated fiction when one takes into account actions of US and 
Canadian authorities that seem equally bizarre. 

It is becoming increasingly evident, as the case against him 
unfolds, that the documentation pertaining to Vreeland, supplied by 
the US Navy and Canadian law enforcement officials, is itself so con- 
tradictory and incomplete as to defy logic. As such, the validity of the 
charges against Vreeland and the position adopted by US and 
Canadian authorities raise more questions than they answer. 

Vreeland, an American citizen who has been in jail since December 
6, 2000, claims he is a US naval lieutenant who has worked for naval 
intelligence since 1986. 



194 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Justice Archie Campbell of the Superior Court of Justice, who 
briefly presided over the case, is in agreement with the Crown's assess- 
ment and has described Vreeland as nothing more than a petty 
fraudster with a vivid imagination. 

Ostensibly, Vreeland's story begins in the fall of 2000. In a sworn 
affidavit filed in court documents on October 16, Vreeland claims 
that he was sent on assignment to Russia where he was in contact with 
Marc Bastien, a computer systems specialist working for Foreign 
Affairs at Canada's embassy in Moscow. 

Vreeland acquired information vital to the national security of the 
US and Canada. Vreeland alleges he left Russia with the documents 
and arrived in Canada on December 2, 2000. According to his affi- 
davit, he expected to meet Bastien two days later in Toronto to hand 
over the documents to a third party. 

Bastien did not show up, however, so Vreeland hung onto the 
documents. Vreeland asserts that he proceeded to upload the docu- 
ments onto a secure website, the location of which is unknown to 
anyone to the present day, including his attorneys, Paul Slansky and 
Rocco Galati. 

Vreeland claims that Bastien had given him two telephone num- 
bers at CSIS, the Canadian intelligence service, to contact in the event 
that anything went wrong. He was subsequently arrested in Toronto 
on December 6, 2000, on alleged fraud charges. At the time of his 
arrest Vreeland claims that he attempted to contact CSIS per Bastien's 
instructions, but he was unsuccessful. 

Upon his arrest, Vreeland was placed in solitary confinement. The 
reason for this treatment was the difficulty Toronto police had in 
confirming his identity. FBI fingerprint records, requested by the 
Toronto police, were negative, indicating that Vreeland had no crim- 
inal record. 

After he was removed from solitary confinement on January 15, 
2001, he learned that six days after his arrest, on December 12, 2000, 
Bastien was found dead. The official explanation was that he died of 
natural causes. Vreeland stated in his affidavit that he believed Bastien 
was in fact murdered, a statement which later proved correct. 

In May, the US government issued a formal request for the extra- 
dition of Vreeland on charges of credit card fraud. It was at this point 
that he hired Slansky, and later, Galati, to fight the extradition. 
Vreeland's first objection was that the credit card in question was his 
own. In addition, his criminal record shows that he was detained in New 
York at the time the alleged offence was committed in Michigan... 
[emphasis mine] 



VREELAND I 19S 



In June, Vreeland informed his counsel that he had information 
vital to US and Canadian national security... Between June and 
September, Vreeland's counsel made repeated requests to US and 
Canadian intelligence offices that they speak to their client. Their 
requests were ignored, except for one meeting with the Royal 
Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on August 8. The RCMP con- 
tacted the US Navy and was told that Vreeland had been 
unsatisfactorily discharged in 1986 after four months of basic training. 

The position of the navy was contradicted by an attache at the US 
embassy in Ottawa, who spoke with the RCMP and confirmed that 
Vreeland was a lieutenant in the US Navy. The navy refused to coop- 
erate with the RCMP, and the attache's statement has since been 
retracted. Because of this, the RCMP did not follow up on the meet- 
ing, and Vreeland was dismissed as a crank. 

On October 5, Vreeland's counsel wrote to the Canadian govern- 
ment's intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The letter has been 
filed in court documents. The attorneys confirmed their head-bashing 
attempts at convincing the RCMP to deal with their client in a seri- 
ous manner, repeatedly urging that they sought only an opportunity 
to "place him in protective custody for 4-5 days so that you can satisfy 
yourselves as to the veracity of his national security information. ..." [their 
emphasis] 

In August, Vreeland wrote down information from the documents 
he acquired in Moscow. The information was fed to him in jail by 
telephone from a contact he had on the outside who had access to the 
secure website. 

Vreeland requested that his guards seal the note and register it in 
his personal effects, which they did. The fact that the note was writ- 
ten and sealed a month prior to the violent attacks of September 1 1 
has not been disputed. Another name on the note was "Dr. Haider," 
followed by the question, "Whats his contacts." [sic] 

It may well be a coincidence, but, a man called Abu Doha, using 
the alias Dr. Haider, was arrested in London in early 2001. The sworn 
affidavit of an FBI special agent dated July 2 indicates that Doha was 
suspected of conspiring to bomb various US targets, including air- 
ports. Doha was allegedly a leader of an Algerian terrorist cell 
operating from Afghanistan, associated with Osama bin Laden's ter- 
rorist network, al Qaeda. Coincidence or not, it certainly begs the 
question of how a jailed man with limited access to computers could 
know such an obscure detail. 20 

Parliamentary Secretary Lynn Meyers granted Galati a meeting, 
the first of three, in Ottawa on September 20. They met again on 



196 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



October 10 at Mr. Meyers s office in Waterloo in the presence of 
Slansky and another unidentified individual. During this meeting 
Meyers confirmed that Bastien, Vreeland's alleged contact in Moscow, 
had indeed been murdered. Vreeland was thus vindicated on this 
point. The coroner's report, which suggests Bastien was poisoned, was 
only made public three months later, on January 21. 

On October 15, Galati traveled again to Ottawa to meet Meyers, 
this time under the impression he would also meet Solicitor General 
Lawrence MacAulay to voice his concerns about Vreeland's informa- 
tion. The Department of the Solicitor General oversees Canadian law 
enforcement and intelligence communities. But when Meyers and 
Galati met MacAulay, he refused to grant them even 15 minutes of 
his time. 

Instead of being a reason to disbelieve Vreeland, the criminal 
records alleging fraud are entirely consistent with covert intelligence 
operations. Vreeland was allegedly allowed a per diem of $ 19,000, and 
his credit cards would likely have been underwritten by the US Navy 
or the CIA. As documented by the history of the Iran-Contra scandal, 
any number of intelligence operatives who had discretionary control 
of large sums of money were routinely controlled by this method. 

Galati's response was that if Vreeland is the petty criminal they 
claim he is, his criminal record should take five minutes to produce. 
It would also settle the argument as to Vreeland's whereabouts at the 
time the alleged credit card fraud took place in Michigan. At present, 
records show him to be in two places at once, something surely even 
Vreeland is not capable of. 

Although MacDonald acknowledged that the computerized 
records provided by US law enforcement officials regarding Vreeland's 
criminal convictions are terse, incomplete, and confusing, he rejected 
the request made by Vreeland's counsel that their client's asylum claim 
be permitted to proceed on constitutional grounds. 

In other words, MacDonald's decision was based on a subjective 
assessment of degrees of probability, rather than proven fact. Galati, 
who intends to appeal the decision, said that MacDonald's judgment 
suspends reality and brings judicial proceedings into the realm of Alice 
in 'Wonderland. 

As Vreeland's counsel has been denied access to their client's certi- 
fied criminal record and the missing pages from his navy personnel 
record, they have opted for the next best thing — witnesses. Slansky 
requested that he be permitted to summon witnesses during the extra- 
dition hearing that could corroborate Vreeland's story. Among the 
witnesses they seek to question are individuals familiar with Pentagon 



VREELAND I 197 



computer security and personnel records, as well as Commander 
Nieusma, who forwarded Vreeland's inconsistent navy personnel 
record. The judge's decision on this matter is still pending. 21 

So why is the personal credibility of a man who has been right 
about the murder of a Foreign Affairs worker and who had fore- 
knowledge of the September 1 1 attacks an issue? Mike Vreeland's 
story raises the question of why the US and Canada insist on ignor- 
ing such an obvious investigative lead. If no stone is to be left 
unturned, why is Vreeland's Rock of Gibraltar being left alone? 22 

Greta's article was well done and well received. 

Then another key fact was to later surface that would give Mike Vreeland an 
additional mark of credibility. Although I was not to catch it for some time, it 
would prove to be a link to something even more threatening to the US govern- 
ment. In October and November, long before I had had any real involvement in 
the Vreeland case, a Southern California man named Steve Tangherlini had made 
a number of persistent attempts to get me to investigate a major financial fraud 
that was taking trillions of dollars out of the US Treasury. It was beyond both my 
professional skill and resources to investigate. 

On November 12 Tangherlini sent me a 23-page fax with legal documents and 
what looked like banking documents describing the transfer of hundreds of bil- 
lions of dollars from various US government accounts and the Federal Reserve 
System (the Federal Reserve System is not a US government entity; it's a private- 
ly-owned banking syndicate). Frustrated at my inability to help Tangherlini in his 
repeated requests to cover his "Project Saving America," I forwarded copies of the 
documents to former Assistant Housing Secretary and Wall Street investment 
banker Catherine Austin Fitts. Both Fitts and another researcher, a former bank- 
ing executive who prefers to remain anonymous, reached the same conclusion. 

The documents looked real and could very well be real. However there was no 
known way to validate them, and thus there was no story. Fitts did offer one com- 
pelling observation: "Heck, I already knew, and it had been documented in the 
mainstream press that trillions of dollars were being stolen from the American peo- 
ple. That's a fact. So these documents didn't surprise me at all. Whether they are 
authentic or not doesn't matter; this is what is happening right now." 

Imagine my surprise then, when I discovered that documents Mike Vreeland 
was to publish on his website in the spring turned out to be the same ones sent to 
me by Tangherlini. It was something I didn't catch for almost a year because, by 
the spring of 2002, 1 was receiving 400 emails a day and about 300 pages of unso- 
licited material and two books each week. 

And I was to have a great many other distractions. After my first in-person 
meeting with Vreeland in jail in March, and especially after his release on bail, 
Mike Vreeland was to move into my life like an occupying army. I knew that I was 



198 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



dealing with someone who was using me and very likely trying to destroy me by 
having me pursue bad information that could have been used to discredit me. Very 
quickly after my first Vreeland story, "A White Knight Talking Backwards," pub- 
lished on January 25, Vreeland was hard at work throwing disinformation all over 
the place. 23 I had taken the story title from the 1960s Jefferson Airplane song 
called "White Rabbit" about drugs and Alice in Wonderland. Both were to become 
important pieces of the Vreeland story. The telling lyrics of that song fit well: 

When logic and proportion 

Have fallen softly dead, 

And the White Knight is talking backwards, 

And the Red Queen's 'off with her head!' 

Remember what the dormouse said: 

'Feed your head. Feed your head. Feed your head. . . ' 

Almost immediately after my first story appeared, unprincipled and amateur 
journalists who talked to Vreeland were writing stories about red mercury, nuclear 
warheads, Iraq, China, and Russia based upon information I already knew was 
bogus. Some were trying to sell audiotapes of Vreeland's interviews. Others like the 
energetic radio talk-show host Alex Jones, who has a sizeable following, inter- 
viewed Vreeland on the air. Jones inadvertently helped to spread the inaccurate 
information, apparently with good intentions. But Jones's inability or unwilling- 
ness to thoroughly check Vreeland's material raised the risk that bad information 
might get put out to the public as fact. I alerted Jones to the possibility that 
Vreeland was a honey pot, and he backed off. I had made the decision that if any- 
one could ride the wave I could. I knew what the issue was, and I thought I knew 
what it would cost. What Vreeland had done with his note needed to be preserved 
for history. 

There was much more to come from the world of Mike Vreeland and it was not 
going to be pleasant. 



VREELAND I 1 99 



GALATI, RODRIGUES\ AZEVEDO" & Associates 

BARRISTERS & SOLICITORS 




637 College Street, Suite 203 
Toronto, Canada M6G IBS 

Direct Line (4 16)536-78 11 Fax (416) 536-6801 



October 5 th , 2001 



1 Roc co GalatI 

BA. VLB. LL.U. 

Robot D. Rodrlguaa 

DanM A. Klalman 

LLB. 

Fay Fuarst 

BJk. LUM. 

William E. II. Naylor 



" Manual A. Azavodo 



Harry C, Rankin 



Andrew A. Powall 

ajL U-M. 

Halldor K. Bjarnaaon 

•u. UJ. 

In aaaocJaflan 



Toronto Offlco 
•37 Caaago SUaat 
6uKa203 
Toronto, Canada 
MC01BS 



Vancouvar Offlca 
148 Alwcandor Blrad 
Vancouvar, Canada 
V6A1BS 



Royal Canadian Mounted Police 
2755 High Point Drive 
Milton, Ontario 
L9T 5E8 



Fax No. (905) 876-9771 



'V" 

This Is Exhibit referred loin the 

M *iio,M:?M..#:S^^. 

Sworn before rr.e, this ..J. '££5/ 

teyoi....&&.Z&**^.----?&, 



A COMMI-SS.ONER FCH TAKING AFFIDAVITS 



Dear Ms. 

RE: Delmart Edward Joseph Michael Vreeland D 

This will confirm our head-bashing attempts at convincing, since June, 2001, 
the RCMP, upon CSIS referral and declining of involvement pending RCMP 
"investigation", to place Mr. Vreeland into police custody, on consensual 
Court order, so that he convey vital information to you of national security 
both to Canada and the U.S.A. 

His attempts have fallen on deaf and incredulous ears of the RCMP 
notwithstanding my attempts with the Solicitor-General's office(s) in Ottawa 
following events of September 1 1* 2001 in New York City. 

Your position with respect to this simple and inconsequential request from 
Mr. Vreeland is beyond the pale for both Mr. Slansky and I, both former 
Crown Attorneys, as well as seasoned in extradition matters, in light of: 

1 . the clearly falsified and doctored criminal record and Navy record of Mr. 
Vreeland forwarded by his government; 



2. the U.S. A refusal, on your word, to co-operate with the RCMP 
notwithstanding that extradition is being ostensibly sought by them; 



I. ..2 



200 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



2 

3. the clear and incontrovertible remaining evidence that does remain in my 
clients' possession indicating that he was and is, as of August 21", 2001, 
apparently a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy (notwithstanding the three break- 
ins to his mother's business where most of his documents have been stolen 
since his incarceration in Canada); 

4. the fact that the extradition case against Mr. Vreeland embarrassingly and 
insultingly much further lacks in credibility than any allegations of 
incredulity against Mr. Vreeland; 

5. the fact that while Mr. Vreeland provided confirmed and credible 
information and is going to be the central witness in a criminal charge 
against Fonseca for counseling the murder of RCMP officers, Federal 
Crown Attorneys, a Canadian judge, FBI agents and U.S. witnesses; 

6. that he provided credible information regarding the circumstances 
regarding the reason for what he states was the murder of a Canadian 
diplomat, Marc Bastien, and information regarding the risk to others 
flowing from those circumstances; 

7. the fact that on or about August 1 1 - 12* 1 he had sealed a list and notes 
containing possible targets of violent attacks, which was unsealed by 
senior jail officials on September 14 th , 2001. On this list appear the World 
Trade Centre, Pentagon, and other cities, including Canadian cities, as 
well as several names, including Bin Laden. 

All that was being sought was an opportunity to place him in protective 
custody for 4 - 5 days so that you can satisfy yourselves as to the veracity of 
his national security information. At that time, our client was willing to be 
subjected to polygraph examination, psychiatric examination and cross- 
examination by Naval intelligence and military experts. Yet, you have applied 
a ludicrous litmus test to pre-judge the credibility of his information. You 
have been told that additional information exists, including forensic testing to 
prove that the list/notes referred to in paragraph 7 was made prior to 
September 1 1, 2001. You tell us that you are not interested. In light of the 
statements made by our Government in the aftermath of September 1 1, we 
would have thought that you would be willing to at least check out this 
information. Your inaction reveals the stated intentions of the Government to 
be little more than rhetoric. We are being met with refusals by both his 
government and ours on the patently abusurd conclusion and assertion(s) that 
Mr. Vreeland is a "nut-case" [sic] or lacks credibility when a sober review of 
the extradition proceedings against him, and what little evidence he has 
remaining and conveyed to us and to you and officials in Ottawa clearly 
indicate that your conclusions) are incomprehensible, irrational, and 
irresponsible. 

/...3 



VREELAND I 201 



3 




This is to advise that we, as his counsel, despite our best and relentless efforts, 
take no responsibility, nor can we control our client, in his loss of patience and 
threats to have return what he claims to be documentation brought back from 
Russia "returned" to their rightful owners - the Russians. Mr. Slansky and I 
are NOT privy to whatever it is Mr. Vreeland has been attempting to convey 
to his government and ours. Mr. Vreeland does not wish to divulge matters of 
national security to Mr. Slansky or myself He wishes to speak to his 
government or ours. He is frustrated and angered at being dismissed as a 
simple criminal, and his continued incarceration since December, 2000, on 
minor and dubious credit card charges. 

The end conclusion of all of this is that neither Mr. Slansky nor I can hold Mr. 
Vreeland off in divulging whatever he wishes to divulge with whatever 
international reaction which may ensue, from other governments, and as such, 
the responsibility of the obstinate refusal by C.S.I.S., the RCMP, and the 
Solicitor-General to accede to such a simple request, is to be borne by the 
Government. The RCMP and CSIS are answerable to the Her Majesty's 
Minister of the Crown, the Solicitor-General. However, in practice they are 
operationally reacting as if they all three operate in different countries. 

Lastly, neither Mr. Slansky nor L as Mr. Vreeland's legal counsel, can refuse 
to follow the legal instructions of our client to pursue and defend his legal 
rights, in the context of the extradition proceeding on which he has been held 
in jail , and the upcoming Fonseca trial in which the Crown intends to have 
him testify. We are duty bound to defend his rights in accorance with his leagl 
instructions, within legal bounds. 

Neither myself, nor Mr. Slansky, in the combined 30 years as Barristers, both 
as former Crown counsel, as well as private Barristers, have seen anything as 
incomprehensibly frustrating, inexplicable, and irresponsibly absurd given the 
context of events, as the RGM.P.'s position that they are not interested in 
reviewing Mr. Vreeland's information, evidence nor talking to any 
corroborating witnesses in Canada nor the U.S.A. 

Lastly, it is incredible to us to be met with statements from both the R.C.M.P 
and C.S.I.S. that they are unwilling to share information, as between them, on 
the same investigation and in respect of national security concerns 

A..4 



202 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



4 



All of which is respectfully submitted. 



Yours very truly, 

GALATI, RODRIGUES, AZEVEDO & Associates 
Per: 



Rocco Galati, ra..uau-u. 
RG/PBS*cfc/pbs 



fa 




Paul Slansky , ra., ll.b, j.d. 
RG/PBS*cfc/pbs 



c.c: CSIS 

ex.: VPW^> Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor-General 
ex.: Solicitor-General 
ex.: Minister of Justice 
ex.: RCMP Commissioner 



CHAPTER 



Executing a Conspiracy: 
Shame and Honor in the FBI — 
An Air Force Colonel 
Blows the Whistle 

It doesn't take many people to execute a conspiracy, especially when the people 
involved are accustomed to dealing with compartmentalized information. 
Few organizations are more familiar with compartmentalized information, and 
with what happens to whistleblowers who compromise intelligence operations, 
than the FBI. Indeed, the bureau is almost always the first place where people seek 
help when the inevitable retributions begin. It is the first place I went in 1978 after 
resigning from the LAPD with tape-recorded death threats when I knew that the 
CIA was dealing drugs. Who better to know and understand what whistleblowers 
face when they make their momentous decisions to come forward? 

But what happens when FBI agents blow the whistle? The truth of the matter 
is that many FBI agents, employees, and even military personnel did speak out, 
both before and after 9/11. What they said is damning. And what has happened 
to them remains a continued warning (though not an excuse) for those who still 
function within the system and keep it going. The main reason why these whistle- 
blowers have been so thoroughly smashed is because they all threatened to expose 
direct US connections to the attacks of 9/ 1 1 and those who carried them out. 

White House orders 

In a watershed moment two months after the World Trade Center attacks, the 
BBC's Greg Palast disclosed that shortly after taking office the Bush administra- 
tion acted to prevent an FBI investigation into two of Osama bin Laden's brothers, 
Abdullah and Omar, living in a DC suburb near CIA headquarters. With the 
cooperation of veteran investigative journalist Joe Trento, Palast was actually able 
to produce a classified FBI national security report disclosing the damning evi- 
dence. The subject of the investigation was the World Assembly of Muslim Youth 



203 



204 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

(WAMY), a charity that had been repeatedly documented as having funneled money 
to terrorists. 1 

In the course of the broadcast Palast made these remarks: 

I received a phone call from a high-placed member of a US intelli- 
gence agency. He tells me that while there's [sic] always been 
constraints on investigating Saudis; under George Bush, it's gotten 
much worse. After the elections, the agencies were told to 'back off 
investigating the bin Ladens and Saudi royals, and that angered 
agents. I'm told that since September 11th the policy has been 
reversed. FBI headquarters told us they could not comment on our 
findings. A spokesman said: 'There are lots of things that only the 
intelligence community knows and that no one else ought to know.' 2 

But the documents are more revealing, as Palast explains: 

This document is marked "Secret." Case ID — 199-Eye WF 213 589. 
199 is FBI code for case type: 9 would be murder, 65 would be espi- 
onage, 199 means national security. WF indicates Washington field 
office special agents were investigating ABL — because of his rela- 
tionship with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, WAMY. . . ABL 
is Abdullah Bin Laden, president and treasurer of WAMY. .. 

The US Treasury has not frozen WAMY's assets, and when we 
talked to them, they insisted they are a charity. Yet, just weeks ago, 
Pakistan expelled WAMY operatives. And India claimed that WAMY 
was funding an organisation linked to bombings in Kashmir. And the 
Philippine military has accused WAMY of funding Muslim insur- 
gency. The FBI did look into WAMY, but, for some reason, agents 
were pulled off the trail. 

TRENTO: The FBI wanted to investigate these guys. This is not 

something that they didn't want to do — they wanted to they 

weren't permitted to. . . 

MICHAEL WILDES (LAWYER): I would never be surprised 
with that. They're cut off at the hip sometimes by supervisors or given 
shots that are being called from Washington at the highest levels. . .. 3 

Robert Wright 

Twelve -year veteran FBI agent Robert Wright Jr. should be proud. Of all of the 
FBI "brick" agents who have come forward since 9/11 to describe the deliberate 
obstruction of investigations that could have prevented the attacks, no others have 
taken the risks or endured the punishment that Wright has. For good reason. 

Wright is the only agent in the FBI's history to have conducted an investiga- 
tion of terrorists that resulted in the seizure of financial assets. In 1998 he began 
an investigation — since terminated by the FBI — into terrorist money laundering 



Executing a Conspiracy: Shame and honor in the FBI 20s 

in the United States. That investigation resulted in the seizure of bank accounts 
and other assets of Yassin Kadi, who has "since been identified as one of the 'chief 
money launderers' for Osama bin Laden." Kadi is reported to have provided as 
much as $3 billion to al Qaeda before Wright shut him down. 4 (Wright's inves- 
tigations also put a major crimp in the funding for Hamas, another Palestinian- 
related support group that has been linked to terrorist activities in Israel). 

Based in Chicago, home of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) where a great 
deal of 9/1 1 -related insider trading was to take place, Wright was in one of the three most 
important financial centers of the United States. Nobody moves $3 billion without using 
exchanges such as the NYSE or CBOE. It's just too much money and must move in finan- 
cial streams where it would not stand out 

In the only real coverage of Wright's decision to come forward — which was 
coupled with a formal complaint against the FBI for its suppression of him — the 
Congressional News Service told a chilling tale as it reported on a press conference 
held by Wright and his legal team on May 30, 2002: 

In a memorandum written 9 1 days before the September 1 1 terrorist 
attacks, an FBI agent warned that Americans would die as a result of 
the bureau's failure to adequately pursue investigations of terrorists 
living in the country. . . Wright says that FBI management 'intention- 
ally and repeatedly thwarted and obstructed' his attempts to expand 
the investigation to arrest other terrorists and seize their assets . . . . ' As 
a direct result of the incompetence and, at times, intentional obstruc- 
tion of justice by FBI management to prevent me from bringing the 
terrorists to justice, Americans have unknowingly been exposed to 
potential terrorists attacks for years,' he charged. 5 

FBI Director Robert Mueller held a May 29, 2002, press conference where he 
stated, "It is critically important that I hear criticisms of the organization includ- 
ing criticisms of me in order to improve the organization." Meanwhile the FBI was 
landing on Wright's chest with both feet. It had issued Wright written orders not 
to discuss what he knew and not to disclose, either in speech or writing, the con- 
tents of an unpublished manuscript entitled Vulgar Betrayal that he had written for 
Congress. Wright was threatened in writing with disciplinary action, civil suits, 
revocation of security clearances, and even criminal prosecution if he talked. That 
letter was received by Wright's attorney, David Schippers, at 5:00 pm on the same 
day Mueller lied to the American people about his pure intentions. 6 

The next day, Wright concluded his own press conference in tears: "To the 
families and victims of September 11 th ," he said, "on behalf of [FBI Special 
Agents] John Vincent, Barry Carmody, and myself — we're sorry." 7 But the real 
truth of what was done to this ethical law enforcement officer is contained in a 
May 22 letter written by Schippers to the FBI and in the words spoken at the press 
conference itself. 



206 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



In writing to Wright's superior, Chicago Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Thomas 
Kneir, Schippers described how Wright had voluntarily given a heads-up about a 
New York Times investigation into what had happened with his investigations. 
Wright was subsequently ordered not to talk to the press. He complied. Schippers 
wrote, 

The FBI has failed seriously to address Robert Wright's work-related 
concerns regarding the FBI's terrorism responsibilities. In fact, we 
believe there has been a concerted effort by the FBI to discredit Agent 
Wright and minimize his concerns regarding the FBI's failures in con- 
nection with international terrorism matters prior to September 
11 th , 2001. In part, this effort includes providing false and mislead- 
ing information to the New York Times regarding Agent Wright and 
his Vulgar Betrayal investigation. Even more disturbing is the fact that 
the FBI has prevented Agent Wright and Special Agent John Vincent 
from providing written responses to the New York Times to counter 
that false and misleading information .... Agent Wright has also filed 
two complaints with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in an 
attempt to have his concerns addressed .... To our astonishment, the 
DOJ employee advised that, although the allegations were extremely 
serious, the Inspector General's Office did not have the resources to 
conduct an investigation of this anticipated size and scope. 8 

The sheer vindictiveness of a system that seeks to silence whistleblowers was 
most fully revealed in the press conference itself, in which it was disclosed that 
Wright, Schippers, and attorney Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch (a Washington, 
DC-based legal watchdog group) had actually met months before 9/11. They also 
disclosed that Wright had written most of his manuscript and decided to speak out 
about the repression well before the first plane hit the World Trade Center. 
Repeating allegations that Wright had been threatened and intimidated by the 
Bureau, Klayman stated that Wright's manuscript hits both Bush and Cheney 
"hard." That leaves little doubt about where the orders to crush Wright were com- 
ing from. Shippers added that Wright had even been ordered not to talk to Congress. 
John Ashcroft was not spared in the scathing statements. Klayman said that "Ashcroft 
very likely had all of this information" and didn't use Wright's investigative work 
to pull the financial plug on al Qaeda before the attacks. 

The lawyers also described how Wright had, since voicing his concerns, been 
demoted to performing "innocuous tasks"; his office had been moved, computer 
equipment had been taken away from him, and he had been forced to purchase 
computers with his own money (which he did, out of sheer devotion to his work). 
Klayman stated that his office, aware of the direct connections between Wright's 
work and Osama bin Laden, had called Attorney General Ashcroft immediately 
after the attacks. The response was terse: "We're tired of conspiracy theories." 



Executing a Conspiracy: Shame and honor in the FBI 207 

For a time C-SPAN carried a downloadable video file of the entire compelling 
press conference, which received no attention in the major media. 9 It has since 
been removed. 

Kenneth Williams and the Phoenix memo: a CIA connection 

On July 10, 2001, Kenneth Williams, the senior special agent from a Phoenix FBI 
terrorism task force, sent a memo to FBI headquarters. That memo, resulting from 
a seven-year investigation, alerted FBI headquarters that a number of Muslims, sus- 
pected of radical ties, were taking flight lessons in Arizona. It was later confirmed 
that Hani Hanjour, who was to be listed as the suspected pilot of the airliner the gov- 
ernment says crashed into the Pentagon, had received his flight training in Arizona. 

The memo specifically mentioned Osama bin Laden and warned that terror- 
ists were possibly going to hijack aircraft or penetrate airport security. Williams 
requested that the FBI institute a nationwide survey of aviation schools to ascer- 
tain if there were large numbers of Middle Eastern students enrolled in them. The 
request was denied, reportedly for lack of resources. 10 The excuse seems weak. A 
list of flight schools is readily available through the Internet, and a telephone sur- 
vey would have yielded fast results. 

Williams was not the first FBI agent in Phoenix to complain about interference 
and obstruction by FBI headquarters. In 1994 Special Agent James Hauswirth 
complained about it after retiring and wrote a letter of complaint to FBI Director 
Mueller in December 2001. Hauswirth wrote, "The [international anti-terrorism] 
program ground to a halt a couple of years ago because of the micromanaging, 
constant indecision, and stonewalling." 11 

There was serious reason for the Phoenix "brick agents" to be concerned. They 
had watched some of their suspects who were taking flight training practicing at 
pistol ranges, and one of them was an associate of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, 
imprisoned for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. 12 

After disclosure of the Phoenix memo's existence in May of 2002, FBI Director 
Mueller took the same tack as in the Wright case: he classified it and refused to 
show it to members of the Senate panel investigating 9/11. This outraged Senator 
Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who threatened a subpoena and a fight. 13 Unlike 
Wright, Williams — as a result of public pressure — was allowed to testify before 
the intelligence panel, and that panel has seen the memorandum that, however, 
remains classified. 

Another person who saw the memo was Fortune reporter Richard Behar. This is 
the same Richard Behar who was instrumental in destroying the credibility of Iran- 
Contra figure Terry Reed in the previous chapter. It seems Mr. Behar is a trusted 
asset of intelligence agencies, who should not have disclosed anything the govern- 
ment didn't want known. But in his May 22 story on the Phoenix memo, he did. 
He described the Phoenix Field office's interest in a man named Zakaria Soubra: 
"Soubra, the memo said, was a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 



208 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Prescott, Arizona (according to the Los Angeles Times, he was questioned by FBI 
agents in 2000, after he was observed at a shooting range with another Muslim, 
who was a veteran of Islamic jihads in the Balkans and the Middle East...). The 
organization named in the memo's title, the Islamic Army of the Caucasus, is based 
in Chechnya and was at one time headed by a man named Amir Khattab, who, 
according to news reports, is suspected of having ties to Osama bin Laden." 14 

We have previously documented that Chechen rebels were trained in camps 
funded and operated by the CIA, and that these operations were connected to 
Osama bin Laden, who was acting on behalf of the CIA in both the Balkans 
(Kosovo) and Chechnya. Khattab was one of the key players in those operations. 

As reported in a previous chapter, Michel Chossudovsky told us why the Williams 
memo was so dangerous: 

With regard to Chechnya, the main rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and 
Al Khattab were trained and indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps in 
Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Yossef Bodansky, director of 
the US Congress' Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional 
Warfare, the war in Chechnya had been planned during a secret sum- 
mit of HizbAllah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. 15 

Williams's memo was sent to the desk of Supervisory Special Agent Dave Frasca 
at FBI headquarters in Washington, where Frasca sat on it with an anvil. We may 
never know what is in the rest of that memo and what Richard Behar kept hidden 
for the interests he apparently serves. What has been documented here, however, 
is yet another case of senior FBI personnel deliberately suppressing information 
that might have prevented the attacks of 9/1 1 in order to protect CIA assets who 
were subsequently connected to those same attacks. 

Another major inconsistency in FBI operations is that, in 1995, after receiving 
warnings that al Qaeda operatives might be planning to crash hijacked airliners 
into CIA headquarters, the FBI "descended" immediately on flight schools all over 
the country. 16 Yet in 2001 it was too busy. 

Colleen Rowley 

On May 22, 2002, Minneapolis FBI Special Agent Colleen Rowley hand-delivered 
a 13-page memorandum to FBI Director Robert Mueller. In keeping with his cus- 
tomary practices, Mueller immediately classified the memorandum from the 
Minneapolis Field Office's top lawyer "Secret." That didn't help much, because 
Rowley, claiming protection under the federal whistleblower statute, had also 
delivered copies to the Senate Intelligence Committee and two of the Committee's 
members, Republican Richard Shelby and Democrat Diane Feinstein. 17 

The efforts of Rowley and her fellow brick agents in Minneapolis centered on 
the so-called twentieth hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui, who had been in FBI custody 
since August 1 5 on immigration charges. It seems that for months before 9/11, FBI 



Executing a Conspiracy: Shame and honor in the FBI 209 

headquarters (FBIHQ) had systematically blocked every effort to investigate yet 
another case that — had it been supported — might have prevented the 9/11 attacks. 

Rowley was irritated. It wasn't long before the memorandum — edited of course 
— was published by the likes of TIME, the Associated Press, and Newsweek. Rowley's 
move was supremely well considered and executed in such a way that there was lit- 
tle else for Congress to do but embrace it. And the best thing to do with Colleen 
Rowley is to get out of the way and let her speak for herself. 

May 21, 2002 

FBI Director Robert Mueller 
FBI Headquarters 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Director Mueller: 

I feel at this point that I have to put my concerns in writing concern- 
ing the important topic of the FBI's response to evidence of terrorist 
activity in the United States prior to September 11 th . The issues are 
fundamentally ones of INTEGRITY and go to the heart of the FBI's 
law enforcement mission and mandate 

To get to the point, I have deep concerns that a delicate and sub- 
tle shading/skewing of facts by you and others at the highest levels of 
FBI management has occurred and is occurring. The term "cover up" 
would be too strong a characterization which is why I am attempting 
to carefully (and perhaps over laboriously) choose my words here. I 
base my concerns on my relatively small, peripheral but unique role 
in the Moussaoui investigation in the Minneapolis Division prior to, 
during and after September 1 1 th .... 

I feel that certain facts, including the following, have, up to now, 
been omitted, downplayed, glossed over, and/or mis-characterized in 
an effort to avoid or minimize personal and/or institutional embarrass- 
ment on the part of the FBI and/or perhaps even for improper political 
reasons:. . . 

2) As the Minneapolis agents' reasonable suspicions quickly ripened 
into probable cause, which, at the latest, occurred within days of 
Moussaoui's arrest when the French Intelligence Service confirmed 
his affiliations with radical fundamentalist Islamic groups and 
activities connected to Osama Bin Laden, they became desperate 
to search the computer lap top that had been taken from Moussaoui 
as well as conduct a more thorough search of his personal effects. 
The agents in particular believed that Moussaoui signaled he had 
something to hide in the way he refused to allow them to search 
his computer.... 



210 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



3) The Minneapolis agents' initial thought was to obtain a criminal 
search warrant, but in order to do so, they needed to get FBI 
Headquarters' (FBIHQ's) approval in order to ask for DOJ ... 
approval to contact the United States Attorney's Office in Minnesota. 
Prior to and even after receipt of information provided by the 
French, FBIHQ personnel disputed with the Minneapolis agents 
the existence of probable cause to believe that a criminal violation 
had occurred/was occurring. As such, FBIHQ personnel refused to 
contact [DoJ] to attempt to get the authority. While reasonable 
minds may differ as to whether probable cause existed prior to 
receipt of the French intelligence information, it was certainly 
established after that point and became even greater with succes- 
sive, more detailed information from the French and other 
intelligence sources... [L] 

Notably also, the actual search warrant obtained on September 
1 1 th did not include the French intelligence information. Therefore, 
the only main difference between the information being submit- 
ted to FBIHQ from an early date which HQ personnel continued 
to deem insufficient and the actual criminal search warrant which 
a federal district judge signed and approved on September 1 1 th , was 
the fact that, by the time the actual warrant was obtained, suspect- 
ed terrorists were known to have highjacked [sic] planes which 
they then deliberately crashed into the World Trade Center and 
the Pentagon. To say then, as has been iterated numerous times, 
that probable cause did not exist until after the disastrous event 
occurred, is really to acknowledge that the missing piece of prob- 
able cause was only the FBI's (FBIHQ's) failure to appreciate that 
such an event could occur .... 

It is obvious, from my firsthand knowledge of the events and the 
detailed documentation that exists, that the agents in Minneapolis 
who were closest to the action and in the best position to gauge the 
situation locally, did fully appreciate the terrorist risk/danger posed 
by Moussaoui and his possible co-conspirators even prior to 
September 1 1 th . Even without knowledge of the Phoenix commu- 
nication (and any number of other additional intelligence 
communications that FBIHQ personnel were privy to in their 
central coordination roles), the Minneapolis agents appreciated the 
risk. So I think it's very hard for the FBI to offer the "20-20 hind- 
sight" justification for its failure to act! Also intertwined with my 
reluctance in this case to accept the "20-20 hindsight" rationale is 
first-hand knowledge that I have of statements made on September 
1 1 th , after the first attacks on the World Trade Center had already 



Executing a Conspiracy: Shame and honor in the FBI 211 

occurred, made telephonically by the FBI Supervisory Special Agent 
(SSA) who was the one most involved in the Moussaoui matter 
and who, up to that point, seemed to have been consistently, almost 
deliberately thwarting the Minneapolis FBI agents' efforts (see 
number 5). Even after the attacks had begun, the SSA in question 
was still attempting to block the search of Moussaoui's computer, 
characterizing the World Trade Center attacks as a mere coincidence 
with Minneapolis' prior suspicions about Moussaoui. [ii.] . . . 

5) The fact is that key FBIHQ personnel whose job it was to assist 
and coordinate with field division agents on terrorism investiga- 
tions and the obtaining and use of FISA searches (and who 
theoretically were privy to many more sources of intelligence infor- 
mation than field division agents), continued to, almost 
inexplicably [v.] throw up roadblocks and undermine Minneapolis' 

by-now desperate efforts to obtain a FISA search warrant 

HQ personnel brought up almost ridiculous questions in their 
apparent efforts to undermine the probable cause, [vi.] In all of 
their conversations and correspondence, HQ personnel never dis- 
closed to the Minneapolis agents that the Phoenix Division had, 
only approximately three weeks earlier, warned of al Qaeda oper- 
atives in flight schools seeking flight training for terrorist purposes! 
Nor did FBIHQ personnel do much to disseminate the informa- 
tion about Moussaoui to other appropriate intelligence/law 
enforcement authorities. When, in a desperate 11 th hour measure 
to bypass the FBIHQ roadblock, the Minneapolis Division under- 
took to directly notify the CIAs Counter Terrorist Center (CTC), 
FBIHQ personnel actually chastised the Minneapolis agents for 
making the direct notification without their approval! 

6) Eventually on August 28, 2001, after a series of e-mails between 
Minneapolis and FBIHQ, which suggest that the FBIHQ SSA 
deliberately further undercut the FISA effort by not adding the 
further intelligence information which he had promised to add 
that supported Moussaoui's foreign power connection and making 
several changes in the wording of the information that had been 
provided by the Minneapolis Agent, the Minneapolis agents were 
notified that the NSLU [National Security Law Unit] Unit Chief 
did not think there was sufficient evidence of Moussaoui's con- 
nection to a foreign power.... 

The e-mail communications between Minneapolis and FBIHQ, 
however, speak for themselves and there are far better witnesses 
than me who can provide their first hand knowledge of these 
events characterized in one Minneapolis agent's e-mail as FBIHQ 



212 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



is "setting this up for failure." My only comment is that the process 
of allowing the FBI supervisors to make changes in affidavits is 
itself fundamentally wrong .... understand that the failures of the 
FBIHQ personnel involved in the Moussaoui matter are also being 
officially excused because they were too busy with other investiga- 
tions, the Cole bombing and other important terrorism matters, 
but the Supervisor's taking of the time to read each word of the 
information submitted by Minneapolis and then substitute his 
own choice of wording belies to some extent the notion that he 
was too busy. As an FBI division legal advisor for 12 years (and an 
FBI agent for over 21 years), I can state that an affidavit is better 
and will tend to be more accurate when the affiant has first hand 

information of all the information he/she must attest to but 

changes of some substance as apparently occurred with the 
Moussaoui information which had to be, for lack of a better term, 
"filtered" through FBIHQ before any action, whether to seek a 
criminal or a FISA warrant, could be taken .... Even after September 
1 1 th , the fear was great on the part of Minneapolis Division per- 
sonnel that the same FBIHQ personnel would continue their 
"filtering" with respect to the Moussaoui investigation, and now 
with the added incentive of preventing their prior mistakes from 
coming to light. For this reason, for weeks, Minneapolis prefaced 
all outgoing communications (ECs) in the PENTTBOM investi- 
gation with a summary of the information about Moussaoui. We 
just wanted to make sure the information got to the proper pros- 
ecutive authorities and was not further suppressed! . . . 

7) Although the last thing the FBI or the country needs now is a 
witch hunt, I do find it odd that (to my knowledge) no inquiry 
whatsoever was launched of the relevant FBIHQ personnel's 
actions a long time ago. Despite FBI leaders' full knowledge of all 
the items mentioned herein (and probably more that I'm unaware 
of), the SSA, his unit chief, and other involved HQ personnel 
were allowed to stay in their positions and, what's worse, occupy 
critical positions in the FBI's SIOC Command Center post 
September 11 th . (The SSA in question actually received a promo- 
tion some months afterward!) . . . 

8) The last official "fact" that I take issue with is not really a fact, but 
an opinion, and a completely unsupported opinion at that. In the 
day or two following September 1 1 th , you, Director Mueller, made 
the statement to the effect that if the FBI had only had any 
advance warning of the attacks, we (meaning the FBI), may have 
been able to take some action to prevent the tragedy .... 



Executing a Conspiracy: Shame and honor in the FBI 213 

The official statement is now to the effect that even if the FBI had 
followed up on the Phoenix lead to conduct checks of flight schools 
and the Minneapolis request to search Moussaoui's personal effects 
and laptop, nothing would have changed and such actions cer- 
tainly could not have prevented the terrorist attacks and resulting 
loss of life. With all due respect, this statement is as bad as the first! 
Mr. Director. . . I think you have also not been completely honest 
about some of the true reasons for the FBI's pre-September 1 1 th 
failures.... 

NOTES 

. . . [v.] During the early aftermath of September 1 1 th , when I hap- 
pened to be recounting the pre-September 11 th events 
concerning the Moussaoui investigation to other FBI per- 
sonnel in other divisions or in FBIHQ, almost everyone's 
first question was "Why? — Why would an FBI agent(s) 
deliberately sabotage a case?" (I know I shouldn't be flip- 
pant about this, but jokes were actually made that the key 
FBIHQ personnel had to be spies or moles, like Robert 
Hansen, who were actually working for Osama bin Laden 
to have so undercut Minneapolis' effort.)... 
Along these lines, let me ask the question, why has it sud- 
denly become necessary for the Director to "handpick" the 
FBI management? It's quite conceivable that many of the 
HQ personnel who so vigorously disputed Moussaoui's abil- 
ity/ predisposition to fly a plane into a building were simply 
unaware of all the various incidents and reports worldwide 
of al Qaeda terrorists attempting or plotting to do so.... 

[vi.] ...for the SSA continued to find new reasons to stall. . . 

[viii.] For starters, if prevention rather than prosecution is to be our 
new main goal, (an objective I totally agree with), we need 
more guidance on when we can apply the Quarles "public 
safety" exception to Miranda's 5 th Amendment requirements. 
We were prevented from even attempting to question 
Moussaoui on the day of the attacks when, in theory, he 
could have possessed further information about other co- 
conspirators. (Apparently no government attorney believes 
there is a "public safety" exception in a situation like this?!) 18 

Thus Moussaoui, who had paid the $7,000 for his flight lessons in cash; who 
was, according to press reports, not interested in learning how to take off or land; 
who wanted to know if the doors of an airliner could be opened in flight; and 
who was particularly interested in air traffic patterns around New York City, 



214 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

remained totally protected until after the attacks of 9/ 1 1 had taken place. And it 
was subsequently revealed that Zacarias Moussaoui had also fought in Chechnya 
where some of the players had been connected to CIA training camps. 

The French had been following Moussaoui for years. In the 1990s 
they tracked him to London where he learned militant Islam from 
radical clerics including Abu Qatada. French intelligence has linked 
Qatada to Osama bin Laden. Qatada preaches a particularly violent 
brand of Islam and encourages Muslims to take up jihad wherever 
they can. So Moussaoui took that advice and went to Chechnya to 
join Muslims in their fight against Russian troops. French intelligence 
was aware of that move and his later trip to Afghanistan. 19 

Zacaria Soubra from the Phoenix investigation and Zacarias Moussaoui in 
Minneapolis had something in common, other than allegiance to Osama bin Laden, 
which other members of al Qaeda did not. They had both fought in Chechnya and 
both had met Amir al-Khattab who had been trained at CIA-operated and sponsored 
camps. Conveniently, Khattab was reported killed in action in Chechnya in April 
2002, just before the Williams and Rowley memos became news. Khattab's death 
was denied by Chechen rebel leaders. 20 Was a key witness being placed out of reach? 

During my time as an LAPD officer and in the years since, I have met several 
FBI agents, including one former assistant director, who bragged about the FBI's 
ability to conduct "black bag" burglaries (surreptitious entries) during the 1960s 
and 1970s. Search warrants were never even a consideration. Keep this in mind as 
you reread the Rowley memo on the amazing refusal of FBI leadership to grant the 
field agents a FISA warrant. With Moussaoui's laptop in their possession for weeks 
before the attacks, it is very probable that they had already examined all of its con- 
tents. The reason why they needed the warrant was to make the evidence they had 
found admissible. Numerous press stories since 9/11 have indicated that the con- 
tents of that laptop will be used to convict Moussaoui of complicity in the attacks 
and most probably sentence him to death. I can only imagine the "off-the-record" 
conversations that took place between the brick agents in Minnesota and 
Washington as the brick agents — knowing of a certainty what was coming — 
tried in vain to get their search warrant. 

And who was the supervisory special agent in Washington who brutalized the 
Minneapolis agents; who rewrote search warrants; who lied, obstructed, road- 
blocked, chastised, and suppressed? It was the same agent who received the 
Phoenix memo and sat on it: one Dave Frasca. 

Carnivore 

In March 2000 Denver FBI agents and other reviewing agents were "furious" after 
other agents in the bin Laden unit and at the International Terrorism Operations 
Center destroyed significant quantities of e-mail intercepts (received under 



Executing a Conspiracy: Shame and honor in the FBI 215 

authorization of a warrant) for a case connected to al Qaeda. The explanation 
given for the destruction of material of both evidentiary and intelligence value was 
that an e-mail surveillance system called Carnivore had errantly intercepted e- 
mails from additional innocent parties whose privacy had been violated. As a 
result, '"The FBI technical person was apparently so upset that he destroyed all the 
e-mail take, including the take on the suspect ...." 21 "Take" means raw intelligence 
that has been collected but not yet analyzed. 

This explanation is absurd, transparent, laughable, and offensive. It plainly 
contravenes 80 years of known FBI practice. Not only does it not make sense that 
the FBI wouldn't segregate the sought-after intelligence from that which was inad- 
vertently collected; there was, in fact, a legal requirement that they not destroy 
anything at all. The Associated Press quoted Henry Perritt, the head of a review 
panel: "The collection is supposed to be retained for judicial review .... If an agent 
simply deleted a whole bunch of files without the court instructing, that's not the 
way it's supposed to work." 22 

Indeed, since a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant was involved 
in this case, the destruction of anything collected or seized as a result of that war- 
rant is one of the most serious legal violations known. This would be true with any 
warrant. And yet it was confirmed that the decision to do so had been made with- 
in the UBL (bin Laden) unit, the same unit involved in the preceding cases. Here 
again we find Dave Frasca 

A Washington Post story confirmed the above details but did not ask the obvi- 
ous questions about why the entire take had been destroyed in direct violation of 
legal requirements calling for judicial review. It blamed the inappropriate collec- 
tions on a problem with an Internet service provider. But even the Post story 
acknowledged — quoting an internal FBI memo — "To state that she [the memo's 
author] is unhappy with [the International Terrorist Operations Section] and the 
UBL Unit would be an understatement of incredible proportions." 23 

What was described here was not some frustrated, untrained agent knowingly 
destroying material out of an offended sense of dignity over a loss of privacy by 
victims who never even knew about it. What more likely happened was a deliber- 
ate destruction of intelligence information leading to Osama bin Laden that 
someone could not afford to have in any files where a dedicated agent might find 
it and start asking questions or putting people in jail. The use of the Carnivore 
program also suggests that whoever was running the unit had led field agents to 
believe that whatever they collected in this manner was legally admissible — and 
therefore protected from deletion. But in reality, both stories suggested that the 
program was still under evaluation and open to challenge. The field agents didn't 
know this. The result would be a built-in ability to destroy any prosecution using 
this material and allow the al Qaeda suspects to go free as a result of tainted evi- 
dence, while allowing gatekeepers at FBI headquarters to know how close agents 
were actually getting to sensitive covert operations. 



216 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Dave Frasca 

Before concluding that Supervisory Special Agent Dave Frasca of the Radical 
Fundamentalist Unit at FBI headquarters was the primary agent responsible for the 
deliberate, willful, and arguably harmful suppression of evidence and of investiga- 
tions that could well have prevented 9/11, a couple of key questions need to be 
addressed. Various press reports have described FBI units with oversight in these 
cases as the UBL (Osama bin Laden) Unit and as the Radical Fundamentalist 
Unit. Are they referring to the same thing? Secondly, is there any indication that 
any member of Congress or of any other oversight body has noticed at least some 
of these connections? 

Dave Frasca was, until early 2002, the chief of the Radical Fundamentalist Unit 
within the FBI's Counterterrorism/Counterespionage branch. In that capacity, 
according to press reports, he oversaw the operations of several subunits, one of 
which apparently was the bin Laden or UBL unit. One ABC report said, "The 
Bureau's Radical Fundamentalist Unit, headed by Supervisory Special Agent Dave 
Frasca, and its Osama bin Laden Unit first got a memo that Phoenix FBI agent 
Ken Williams sent in early July." 24 The UBL unit was created, according to a state- 
ment by an FBI official, in 1999. 25 

A description of the duties of the RFU and its chief was found on the website 
of the high-technology, intelligence-connected SAIC Corporation, based in San 
Diego, which recently hired Frasca's predecessor, retired Supervisory Special Agent 
Robert Blitzer. SAIC's website gave a telling description of Frasca's duties, as he fol- 
lowed in Blitzer's footsteps. 

From 1993 to 1996, Blitzer served as chief of the Radical Fundamentalist 
Unit, Counterterrorism and Middle East Section at FBI Headquarters. 
As the leader of this unit, he was responsible for overall national coor- 
dination, oversight, and direction of all criminal and intelligence 
operations against the international terrorists who bombed the World 
Trade Center and who attempted to conduct a wave of bombings in 
and around New York City in early 1993. 26 

According to FBI spokesman Neal Schiff, Frasca's tenure in the RFU position 
lasted from 1999 until he was promoted in 2002. Frasca is currently the Assistant 
Section Chief of the International Terrorism Operations Section I. Schiff was 
ambiguous, at best, in describing the relationship between the RFU and the UBL 
units. While maintaining that the two were completely separate units, Schiff 
refused to confirm or deny that Frasca had supervisory responsibility for the UBL 
unit. At the same time he would not deny numerous press reports indicating that 
Frasca did work both units. The Phoenix memorandum was sent to the UBL unit, 
and Frasca apparently had a role in the decision not to follow up on it. As to the 
Wright case, and in contrast to statements given by Department of Justice officials 
on condition of anonymity confirming the RFU's role in squashing the Wright 



Executing a Conspiracy: Shame and honor in the FBI 217 

investigation, Schiff declined to confirm or deny any relationship. "That case is 
still pending and I can't comment," he said. 

But the link between Robert Wright's oppressors and FBI headquarters was 
established only days after my office received the official statements from Schiff. 
On December 19, 2002, ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross aired an 
interview with Wright and his partner John Vincent in which Wright stated, "The 
supervisor who was there from headquarters was right across from me and started 
yelling at me: 'You will not open criminal investigations. I forbid any of you. You 
will not open criminal investigations against any of these intelligence subjects.'" 27 

It was made clear in the story that the Wright/Vincent investigations had 
stemmed from the 1998 African embassy bombings and that the money trail led 
to Osama bin Laden. This would have placed the investigation within the UBL, 
Radical Fundamentalist Unit, and under the direct control of Dave Frasca. Schiff s 
assertion that the two units are separate and distinct entities is belied by Senate 
documents, press stories, and Frasca's own conduct post-9/ 1 1 . A May 24, 2002, 
letter from Senator Patrick Leahy to FBI Director Mueller said: 

A press account on May 22 states that the Radical Fundamentalist 
Unit at FBI headquarters had decided not to pursue the recommen- 
dations in the Phoenix memorandum before September 1 1 , 200 1 , 
since according to "officials... the FBI counterterrorism division was 
swamped with urgent matters." Another press account on May 23 
contains a correction by "a senior FBI official" and [stated] that the 
FBI's "Osama bin Laden Unit was responsible" for the decision reject- 
ing the recommendations .... 2S 

Leahy's letter, in conformity with press stories, shows the interconnectedness of 
the two units, and Frasca's roles in cases involving both units is underscored by the 
fact that he was the agent (and in some cases, the only agent) who provided con- 
gressional testimony on all of these matters, whether they involved the RFU or the 
UBL unit. Schiff was unable to resolve these contradictions and went into "no 
comment" mode about press stories or congressional correspondence. 

Knowing all this, it is now possible to state that Frasca almost certainly had 
direct oversight responsibility for all five of the previously described incidents. FBI 
sources I contacted confirmed, on condition of anonymity, that the RFU was the 
control point for all of these cases and that Frasca issued the orders thwarting 
investigations that could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. Looking at Frasca's 
actions, both in terms of their frequency and in terms of their consistency, it 
stretches the imagination to accept press accounts attributing FBI "screw-ups" rel- 
evant to 9/11 to incompetence, lack of resources, or overwork. There is a pattern 
here, rationally explained in only one way. Someone at the FBI, or elsewhere in 
government, needed to make sure that al Qaeda members were left in place — 
either to perpetrate the attacks or to take the blame for them afterwards. And the 



218 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Frasca connections — at least insofar as Minneapolis and Phoenix are concerned 
— were noticed. Frasca testified before both the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence 
committees, and many problems followed. First, Frasca told the Judiciary com- 
mittee that he didn't see the Phoenix memo until after the 9/11 attacks. Later his 
statement was corrected to indicate that had seen the Phoenix memo before 9/11, 
but that the UBL unit had rejected the request for a survey of flight schools. His 
statement was different from press accounts which indicated that because the 
memo was marked routine, the deadline for response to it was 60 days, which 
would have been after 9/11 — so Frasca had taken no action. 

Senators Patrick Leahy, Charles Grassley, and Arlen Specter were understand- 
ably miffed, especially when Leahy disclosed that he had acquiesced to a special 
request from Mueller to hold the secret hearing where Frasca testified without a 
stenographer or a transcript. Mueller didn't seem to have minded, however, when 
the Intelligence Committee was allowed to make a transcript of Frasca's statements 
for its members. 

On May 24, 2002, Leahy closed a terse and eloquent letter to Mueller on the 
subject, signed also by Grassley and Specter: 

Finally, it has been noted that Supervisory Special Agent Dave Frasca 
in the Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) may have been involved in 
handling the Phoenix memorandum and the Moussaoui investigation 
at FBI headquarters. [This had been previously confirmed in a num- 
ber of press stories. The FBI only started changing their position after 
people started asking questions. - MCR] Please explain his role and the 
role of the RFU in evaluating the requests from the Minneapolis field 
office in the Moussaoui case; what connection, if any, he or others drew 
between the two ongoing investigations; and whether he or others 
brought such a connection to the attention of higher level FBI officials. 

If a briefing rather than a written answer would facilitate your 
response to the questions regarding agent Frasca, please let us know .... 29 

Some senators were a bit less polite in their remarks. Senator Richard Shelby, 
the Republican ranking member of the intelligence committee, was quoted as say- 
ing, "The information coming from Phoenix and the information coming from 
Minneapolis was stifled here at FBI headquarters." Senator Grassley of Iowa decried 
"sabotage" by FBI officials. 30 

A secret team 

To understand how someone like Dave Frasca functioned inside the FBI, one 
needs to understand how the CIA and other intelligence agencies place their peo- 
ple throughout the government. Frasca fits that pattern perfectly. For those 
unfamiliar with the way covert operations function within the United States gov- 
ernment, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of two books: The Secret 



Executing a Conspiracy: Shame and honor in the FBI 219 

Team by the late Air Force Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty (the Pentagon's liaison with 
the CIA during the 1960s), and CIA Diary by former CIA Case Officer Philip 
Agee. Other excellent case studies in this area are found in The CIA and the Cult 
of Intelligence by Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks. Operational patterns 
described by all of these men are confirmed by hundreds of declassified documents 
that have surfaced in investigations like those conducted by the Senate's Church 
committee in the 1970s. 

To sum up the lessons clearly explained in both books, all one needs to under- 
stand is that the CIA routinely places its deep cover agents in every branch of the 
US government, especially within the FBI, the DEA, and federal law enforcement 
agencies. They even do it with municipal police departments such as LAPD, 
NYPD, or the Chicago PD. The CIA attempted to recruit me in 1973 as a college 
senior, and the proposition was made that I become a case officer with CIA and 
then return to LAPD, go through their Academy, and use the LAPD position as a 
cover. Although I declined that offer and have never taken a penny from the CIA, 
I was able to find out years later that the CIA, because of my family connections 
to the Agency and the NSA, had actually steered several of my assignments as an 
LAPD intern while I was an undergraduate at UCLA. When the CIA places its 
agents inside the US military, the process is routinely called "sheep dipping." 

Why would the CIA do this? Frasca's behavior is right out of the textbook. At 
LAPD I saw CIA assets and contractors with access to narcotics investigations 
making deliberate decisions as to who got arrested and who got away. Gary Webb 
documented one such instance in Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras, and the 
Crack Cocaine Explosion when he looked at massive CIA-connected cocaine ship- 
ments into Los Angeles. CIA assets doing CIA's bidding are always protected. 
There is no way to conclusively state that Dave Frasca either worked or works for 
the CIA, either as a case officer or as an asset. But the role he played before 9/11 
clearly served interests other than those of the FBI or the innocent Americans 
killed or bereaved by the attacks. The power of this secret team is that they are 
always able to protect their assets, no matter how badly they are exposed. And, as 
Colleen Rowley noted, Frasca was actually promoted right after 9/11. 

Tyrone Powers 

On May 19, 2002, retired FBI Special Agent Tyrone Powers, currently the director 
of the Institute of Criminal Justice/Legal Studies and Public Service, also an assis- 
tant professor of law enforcement and criminal justice, was a guest on New York City's 
radio station 98.7 KIIS. He had some interesting things to say about 9/11. According 
to an Internet report by Dennis Shipman based upon a transcript of the broadcast, 
Powers made statements that are consistent with what we have just described. 



Tyrone Powers, a former African American FBI special agent, announced 
on NYC's . . . 98.7 KIIS FM . . . hosted by news director and morning 



220 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



personality Bob Slade, that he had credible evidence strongly suggest- 
ing the Bush administration did in fact allow the September 11th 
attacks to further a hidden agenda 

Like [sic] Pearl Harbor, the US government needed a substantive 
excuse to enter World War II and end German hegemony over Europe 
generally and England particularly .... So an environment had to be 
created causing an anticipated furor enabling the Roosevelt adminis- 
tration to declare war against this "axis of evil 

Does this scenario sound familiar? It ought to, because Powers 
argues persuasively that the Bush administration has taken a page from 
history in its endeavor to maintain control over rapidly dwindling oil 
reserves in the world generally and in the Middle East particularly .... 

Powers claims that the Bush administration superciliously per- 
ceives itself to be the last world super power; an Empire and, by some 
misguided albeit self-serving divine right, has to sometimes make 
appalling decisions to further its imperialistic aim, which is the total, 
unequivocal domination of the world and, more tellingly, its mineral 
resources. 31 

During my post-9/1 1 investigations I verified that Powers had indeed appeared 
on the broadcast. I also verified his credentials, both as former FBI agent and cur- 
rent professor at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. He did not 
return several calls asking for further comment. 

Sibel Edmonds 

Initially it was bureaucratic infighting for more funding that derailed important 
security investigations and questions about contacts of a co-worker with tar- 
gets of an FBI anti-terror investigation that prompted 33-year-old Sibel Edmonds 
to blow the whistle inside the FBI in 2002. Hired on an emergency basis and given 
a Top Secret clearance immediately after 9/11 because of her ability to speak flu- 
ent Turkish, Farsi, and Azerbaijani, Edmonds was promptly put to work 
translating mountains of audio recordings, videotapes, and written communica- 
tions. By 2004 her complaints were to become much more serious. 

At first she heard her supervisors telling her to slow down and not rush important 
translations. The ostensible purpose for this foot-dragging at a time of great danger 
was to allow FBI managers to ask for additional funding because they were so far 
behind. Then she saw civilian translators leaving FBI headquarters with classified 
material against regulations. The last straw was when a Turkish-American colleague, 
married to a Major in the US Air Force, disclosed that she had ongoing relationships 
with a Turkish organization that was an active FBI target. The colleague, Melek 
Dickerson, suggested that Edmonds should meet people in the organization and get 
involved. It got worse when Edmonds allegedly discovered that Dickerson had 
attempted to arrange it so that all translations concerning the Turkish organization 



Executing a Conspiracy: Shame and honor in the FBI 221 

would be done by Dickerson exclusively. However, it was also an organization cov- 
ered in the "take" given to Edmonds, and she became suspicious. 

Acting on those suspicions, Edmonds ordered fdes previously translated by 
Dickerson, checked them, and found that material information relating to terror- 
ist investigations and espionage had been deleted, left un-translated, or marked as 
irrelevant. 32 

Edmonds — a neophyte with no prior intelligence training — assumed the 
worst but failed to comprehend the possibility that she was being "pitched" to spy 
on an organization that may have already been penetrated. In that eventuality an 
intelligence operation could be used to plant false information or perhaps even to 
manipulate other assets who might believe they were receiving orders from Islamic 
fundamentalist terrorists. Sanitized translations would prevent FBI agents from 
compromising a CIA operation in Turkey. 

Published photos depict Edmonds as strikingly attractive; people like her are 
often prime subjects for recruitment as intelligence assets while being given as little 
information as possible as to how they are being used. In very sensitive operations 
if the "asset" has no knowledge that he or she is being "run," so much the better. 
One term used to refer to such assets in the intelligence community is "Dixie cups" 
because they are often used once and thrown away. Such "assets" are expendable. 

The likelihood that Edmonds was being "pitched" was confirmed by a Senate 
intelligence staffer. 33 Yet if she was being pitched over an operation that had to do 
with identifying real terrorist threats, whoever was doing it was going about it the 
wrong way. Following the rulebook she had been given, Edmonds did exactly what 
would have been expected of a loyal employee. She complained first to her imme- 
diate supervisors and finally, in March of 2002, to the FBI's Office of Professional 
Responsibility (OPR) and then to the FBI's Inspector General. 34 

Her contract was terminated for the convenience of the government in March 
2002 but not until after she had received threats, both direct and implied, from 
FBI supervisors and from Dickerson. 35 Her next stops were Congress and 60 
Minutes where she got a much better reception as she sought to find out what had 
happened and correct what she felt were genuine problems. Senator Charles 
Grassley found her convincing and credible. 36 In stories throughout 2002 
Edmonds' plight was discussed in the press but there was no discussion of advance 
warnings of attacks known to the FBI or the White House. Edmonds filed suit 
against the FBI over its refusal to respond to her Freedom of Information Act 
request and against the Department of Justice for an improper termination. She 
was followed routinely, especially to court appearances. Attorney General John 
Ashcroft, in response to a request from FBI Director Mueller, sought and obtained 
a gag order restricting what Edmonds could say about her case. The authority 
invoked to secure the order was the rarely used "State Secrets" privilege. 37 The 
same privilege was invoked again by the Justice Department in April 2004 as 
Edmonds was subpoenaed to give a deposition in a $100 trillion civil suit against 



222 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Saudi interests for their alleged connections to the 9/11 attacks. A massive public 
response, including activist challenges to US Marshals and the clerk in US District 
court over an attempt to hold a closed hearing on the motion to quash Edmonds's 
subpoena, apparently caught the government by surprise. One of those who chal- 
lenged the Marshal's move to close the hearing was African-American former 
26-year CIA counterterror case officer Leutrell Osborne. Osborne is also the 
source from whom I received the unedited Izvestia story which went into great 
detail about an explicit warning sent (including targets and dates) directly from 
Russian President Vladimir Putin just days before the attacks. 38 

After the confrontation and an apparent huddle in chambers, Judge Reggie 
Walton decided to open the hearing. It was decided that he would issue a tempo- 
rary order to quash the subpoena but would not render a final decision until 
sometime in June. As this book goes to press, the issue has not been decided. 

As Edmonds's various legal matters continued into 2004 the 9/11 Commission 
chaired by former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean came in to the spotlight as 
pressure from victim families, activists, and the mounting pile of documentation 
flatly contradicting the Bush administration's statements collided with the sched- 
uled testimony of many key witnesses including Richard Clarke, John Ashcroft, 
Robert Mueller, George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld, and National Security Advisor 
Condoleezza Rice. 

At the same time that pressure was building for Rice to testify in public, 
Edmonds gave testimony to the commission. According to Salon, she told the 
commissioners that "the FBI had detailed information prior to September 11, 
2001, that a terrorist attack involving airplanes was being plotted." 39 In a number 
of press interviews after Rice's testimony, and after the publication of an op-ed in 
which Rice stated that the administration had no specific information of a domes- 
tic threat or that airplanes might be used as weapons, Edmonds said, "That's an 
outrageous lie. And documents can prove it's a lie." 40 

Unfortunately in the same interview, Edmonds also expressed the view that 
when George W. Bush said that "they had" no specific information about 
September 1 1, he was telling the truth. Perhaps if Edmonds had been permitted to 
speak with some of her other colleagues she might feel differently; the system does 
an equally good job of isolating whistleblowers from the media and from each 
other. Alternatively, she may have been confining her criticism to the FBI out of a 
desire to choose her battles, or perhaps to protect some ally elsewhere in the admin- 
istration whose responsibility included alerting the president. But all this is far less 
likely than a genuine ignorance on Edmonds's part; she knew enough to discredit 
Rice, then gave Bush the benefit of the doubt in the absence of better information 
about the president's knowledge — information other whistleblowers had. 

Steve Buder 

Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Steve Butler was yet another person with inside 
knowledge who spilled the beans about US government complicity in the attacks 



Executing a Conspiracy: Shame and honor in the FBI 223 



of 9/11. While Vice Chancellor of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, 
California, Butler wrote a chilling May 26 letter to his local paper. It read: 

A contemptible offense 

It's about time conservative idiots like Steve Kelly and Rod Musgrove 
got a dose of reality. Of course President Bush knew about the 
impending attacks on America. He did nothing to warn the American 
people because he needed this war on terrorism. His daddy had 
Saddam and he needed Osama. 

His presidency was going nowhere. He wasn't elected by the 
American people, but placed into the Oval Office by the conservative 
Supreme Court. The economy was sliding into the usual Republican 
pits and he needed something on which to hang his presidency. 

For them to accuse Democrats of being "sleazy" is laughable. Isn't 
it ironic that Kelly begins his inane babble with a reference to Monica 
Lewinsky? How many people died because of Monica Lewinsky? And 
for Musgrove to call the assertions "contemptible" is another joke. 
Funny how he manages to make disparaging remarks about President 
Clinton, as well. 

Face it people, Bill Clinton was a great president. This guy is a 
joke. 

What is sleazy and contemptible is the President of the United 
States not telling the American people what he knows for political 
gain. The Democrats asking pertinent questions is their duty as pub- 
lic servants. 

Steve Butler 
Monterey. 41 

Butler's letter was startling when I learned of it by reading mainstream stories 
that Butler had been suspended for it — and was facing a court martial. 42 

In fact a multitude of press reports, including stories from the New York 
Times, the Washington Post, and Newsweek, all published between September 1 5 
and 17, 2001, disclosed that at least five of the hijackers had received US mili- 
tary training at bases in the US, including flight lessons. Among the latter was 
Mohammed Atta, who apparently received his training while wanted for terror- 
ist activities. Atta's US military training was confirmed by a separate story 
published by Knight Ridder at a time when many of the military training con- 
nections were causing the military to engage in some disingenuous doubletalk. 
Several subsequent stories indicated that while the five names matched up with 
9/11 hijackers, it was apparently a case of more than one person having the same 
name. Yet the Department of Defense has not to this date disclosed the identi- 
ties of the five people whose names matched those of 9/1 1 hijackers. Even more 



224 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



compelling is the fact that Newsweek reported three of the hijackers had received 
flight training at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. 43 

All told, 14 of the 19 9/11 hijackers lived and studied for a considerable peri- 
od in southern Florida. No one has done a better job of investigating the 
connections of these hijackers to military and intelligence operations than inves- 
tigative journalist Dan Hopsicker. His investigations have also produced 
compelling evidence linking Rudi Dekkers, the operator of the flight school 
attended by Atta and others, to US intelligence operations and the destruction 
and/or immediate confiscation of incriminating records immediately after the 
attacks with the hands-on involvement of Florida Governor Jeb Bush. 44 Hopsicker, a 
former broadcast news producer for MS-NBC, has produced a compelling video 
called Mohammed Atta and the Venice Flying Circus that details many of these links. 
He maintains a detailed website at: <www.madcowprod.com> [inexplicably, in the 
summer of 2004, Hopsicker performed a startling flip-flop by choosing to agree 
with most of the Kean Commission's highly questionable findings.] 

How did Steve Butler fare? In June the Air Force announced that it had con- 
cluded its investigation and that Butler was going to face nonjudicial punishment 
likely to consist of a letter of reprimand. Had he chosen, Butler could have insist- 
ed on a court martial and public trial wherein he could have, and most likely 
would have, exposed direct links between the military and the hijackers. I finally 
located Butler in the summer of 2004. He confirmed having written the letter, but 
denied any contact with or knowledge of the hijackers. His school, the DLI, was only 
responsible for foreign language training. English language training was conducted 
at other facilities. 

In spite of the US government's position that there was no compelling case that 
an attack on the US by al Qaeda was imminent, there was apparently one person 
who was paying very close attention to the information coming in from the brick 
agents in the field. In July 2001 Attorney General John Ashcroft stopped flying on 
commercial airlines altogether, opting instead for a chartered government jet. This, 
according to one story, was because of threat assessments from the FBI. 45 



CHAPTER 



Penetration 

9/11 Families Outraged Hijacker-In-Training Was Let Go 

WASHINGTON — Relatives of 9/1 1 victims are expressing out- 
rage that the government didn't pursue a lead offered by a man who 
said he'd been trained as a hijacker for Osama bin Laden. 

Some of the families are reacting angrily to new details about the 
incident. Others are just learning about it for the first time. 

In April 2000, a British Muslim went to the FBI's Newark, N.J., 
office and told agents of plans to hijack US airliners. The visit is accord- 
ing to the report of a Senate-House committee that studied the attacks. 

The 30-year-old Khan said he was taught hijacking basics along 
with about 30 others in Pakistan, and learned how to smuggle weapons 
through airport security and techniques to overpower passengers and crew. 

The FBI was unable to verify any aspect of Khan's story or identi- 
fy his contacts in the United States. 

But after his claims were investigated, he was turned over to 
British authorities and eventually freed. 

The man was identified Thursday by The Wall Street Journal and 
"NBC Nightly News" as Niaz Khan, a Briton of Pakistani descent. 

The families want to know why Khan's warnings were ignored. 

A woman whose husband died in the World Trade Center calls the 
episode "another brand of negligence." 

Associated Press — June 4, 2004 

Chairman Graham, Chairman Goss, before I proceed with my statement, I 
want to make clear to you and the members of these two committees that the 
information I am going to present has been cleared for public release. As you 
know, much of the information the Joint Inquiry Staff has been examining 
is highly classified. Over the last two months, we have been working with 
the intelligence community in a long and arduous process to declassify infor- 
mation we believe is important to the public's understanding of why the 



225 



226 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Intelligence Community did not know of the September 11 attacks in 
advance. By late last night we were able to resolve all but two issues. 

The Director of Central Intelligence has declined to declassify two 
issues of particular importance to this inquiry. 

• Any references to the Intelligence Community providing information to 
the President or White House; and 

• The identity of and key information on a key al Qa'ida leader involved 
in the September 11 attacks... 

• The joint Inquiry Staff disagrees with the DCI's position on both issues. 

— Eleanor Hill, Joint Staff Director of the Senate and House 
Intelligence Committees investigating 9/11, sworn testimony, 

September 18, 2002 

Finally, it is important to note that efforts to prevent or disrupt terrorist 
action frequently are successful, and these activities have reduced the num- 
ber of terrorist incidents that would have occurred in the absence of these 
activities: disruption of terrorist events by working with foreign intelli- 
gence and law enforcement services has proved profitable; US intelligence 
agencies prevented Osama bin laden's organization from carrying out at 
least seven vehicle bomb attacks on US facilities since August 1998 (Kelly, 
1999, p. 1A), and US intelligence has conducted successful disruption 
operations in as many as 10 countries in the six months up to March 1999 
(Associated Press, 1999)... 

In actual operations and special events, agencies generally coordinated 
their activities. For example, we examined several overseas counterterrorist 
operations and found that agencies generally followed the draft interagency 
International Guidelines. DoD, the FBI, and the Central Intelligence 
Agency ( CIA) performed their respective roles in military planning, law 
enforcement and intelligence gathering under the oversight of the State 
Department (e.g., the Ambassador). Minor interagency tensions or conflicts 
during these operations were resolved and did not appear to have posed risk 
to the mission... 

In a similar vein, FBI data on terrorism in the United States suggest 
a reasonably high degree of success in terrorism prevention activities at 
home — only a small annual number of actual terrorist incidents occurred 
in recent years, and more preventions of terrorist incidents than actual 
incidents. 

— 2001 RAND Corporation Study on Preparation of the 
US Army for Homeland Security. 1 

There goes the excuse that there was incapacitating tension between the FBI and 
the CIA and that appropriate mechanisms were not in place to have prevented 9/11. 



PENETRATION 227 



In fact, continuing assertions by law enforcement and intelligence executives and 
managers that they lacked the intelligence capabilities (both technical and legal) to 
have known of the attacks before they occurred are demonstrably false, as are the 
other positions we have thus far examined. Notwithstanding that the mainstream 
media have inexcusably tried to hammer this belief into the consciousness of the 
public, available evidence — most of it undisputed by the government — also 
reveals that al Qaeda and its operatives were under minute scrutiny years before 
the attacks. The open source material I present here suggests that the penetration 
of al Qaeda was complete to the point where Delmart "Mike" Vreeland's state- 
ment, "Let one happen, stop the rest" was not only operationally possible but very 
likely carried out just as he had predicted; the agencies concerned could pick and 
choose which terrorist actions to prevent or allow. The evidence also demonstrates 
that the Bush administration knew a great deal of specific information before the 
attacks. 

Intelligence is broken down into three basic categories: HUMINT (human 
intelligence, gathered by people); SIGINT (signals intelligence, gathered by eaves- 
dropping on land lines, cell phones, radios, and e-mail); and ELINT (electronic 
intelligence, gathered by such direct electronic surveillance as, for example, the use 
of parabolic microphones to overhear a distant conversation, or a body wire to 
record person-to-person conversations). Long before 9/11, US and foreign intelli- 
gence had achieved penetrations of al Qaeda by all three methods and in many 
differing circumstances in a manner that suggests there was very little that al 
Qaeda did that the Bush administration and many other governments were not 
aware of. 

Within the SIGINT category lies an exceptionally powerful eavesdropping pro- 
gram called Echelon. Echelon's existence has been acknowledged by the Australian 
government since 1988, when it was exposed by whistleblowers who charged that 
it had been misused for political purposes. Building on an original post- World 
War II alliance between the US, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, 
Echelon had by the late 1980s been expanded to include joint operations with 
Germany, Japan, and China. It was initiated on the legal premise that while it is 
not permissible for the US government to monitor the conversations of its citizens 
without a warrant, it is not illegal for British intelligence to monitor American cit- 
izens, etc. Once the "take" has been pooled, the respective agencies can have safe 
access to their own domestic intelligence, because the Britons, Australians, or 
Germans did it, and not the home government. 

Echelon's surveillance power resides in its ability "to tap all international 
and some domestic communications circuits, and sift out messages which 
sound interesting. Computers automatically analyze every telex message or 
data signal, and can also identify calls to, say, a target telephone number 
in London, no matter from which country they originate. ' 2 



228 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Echelon has also been mated with computing programs and secret spy-satellite 
technology, including voice and "keyword" recognition that is remarkably effective 
in bringing critical messages to the attention of analysts on short notice. None of 
this, of course, diminishes the unlimited ability — which has existed since the first 
telephone number was issued — to intercept all communications to or from a 
known point. The primary operating agency for all Echelon activities worldwide 
is the US National Security Agency. 3 

Even as the US government has continued to officially deny Echelon's existence, 
the BBC discussed it at length in 1 999, saying: 

Every international telephone call, fax, e-mail, or radio transmission can 
be listened to by powerful computers capable of voice recognition. They 
home in on a long list of key words, or patterns of messages. They are look- 
ing for evidence of international crime, like terrorism. 4 

So pervasive has Echelon become that in February 2000 the European Parliament 
was holding hearings on allegations that Echelon had been used to give unfair 
advantage to American and British companies. The French, the apparent targets, 
were quite upset, and the hearings made headlines across Europe for days. 

Author James Bamford, a former NSA employee, has been justly praised for 
unearthing declassified Top Secret records — most significantly, Bamford publi- 
cized documents from Operation Northwoods, a 1960 program which the US 
military had approved but which President Kennedy prevented. Northwoods was 
a detailed plan to shoot down American aircraft and attack American military 
bases in the guise of Cuban forces, and then blame Fidel Castro as a pretext for a 
full-scale invasion of Cuba. Bamford observed, "The NSAs targets are on the front 
pages of the newspaper every day: Osama bin Laden, North Korea, missile trans- 
fers to Iran, nuclear weapons in Pakistan and India .... They don't care about 
[European consortium] Airbus, they don't care about Boeing, they don't care about 
the Acme Shoe Co. in Des Moines." 5 1 happen to disagree on Bamford's last point, 
but notice that Osama bin Laden was the first item on his list. 

By April of 2001 it had been documented that Echelon was particularly effec- 
tive against cell phones, and had even been improved to the point where it would 
recognize the unique sound made by each individual key on a computer keyboard. 
This enabled the sound of keystrokes to be picked up remotely and translated into 
text. 6 And by May 2001, just months before the attacks of 9/11, the European 
Parliament was advising all member nations and their citizens to encrypt every e- 
mail they sent, even though there was good reason to believe that even all 
commercial encryption programs had crumbled under Echelon's might. 7 Consider 
the significance of this in light of the Indian government's having tied the 
$ 1 00,000 wire transfer from ISI Chief General Ahmad to Mohammed Atta via the 
cell phone records of Omar Saeed Sheikh. There is no question that, given a 
known reception point such as Mohammad Atta's cell phone, or any of the known 



PENETRATION 229 



residences used by the hijackers and their support cells, every call from any loca- 
tion would have been monitored. 8 Since 1988 Echelon had been continually 
refined and upgraded to intercept virtually every electronic communication on the 
planet, including satellite communications, e-mails (transmitted by fiber-optic 
cables, microwaves, and satellites), and banking wire transfers. And in spite of near 
total secrecy about the working of these "sources and methods," there is a com- 
pelling record of dots to connect that — in a rational world — would be very 
embarrassing to the US government and have not been addressed in the declassi- 
fied Congressional intelligence report on 9/ 1 1 . 

The record 

Consider these known al Qaeda penetrations broken down by category. All of 
them constitute advance warnings of the attacks. 

HUMINT/ELINT: US officials have admitted that American agents had infil- 
trated al Qaeda cells. Electronically recorded conversations obtained from these 
agents on September 10 contained messages including "Watch the news" and 
"Tomorrow will be a great day for us." It was not disclosed how long these pene- 
trations had been in place, and official spokespersons categorized these statements 
as "needles in a haystack." 9 

SIGINT: NSA Director Michael Hayden testified before Congress in October 
2002 that the NSA had no indications that al Qaeda was planning attacks on US 
soil, let alone against New York or Washington. 10 This directly contradicts the fact 
that in the summer of 2001 the NSA had intercepted communications between the 
alleged tactical mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and 
Mohammed Atta. The NSA did not share the information with any other agen- 
cies even at a time when Mohammed was on the FBI's most-wanted terror list. 
The NSA also failed to translate some messages and later offered the nonsensical 
excuse that they had no way to separate these calls from millions of others. 11 

HUMINT/SIGINT/ELINT: Two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf Alhazmi and 
Khalid Almidhar, share the distinction of having been active al Qaeda members 
connected to multiple terrorist attacks and also having been among the most close- 
ly watched, yet completely free to travel even while they were wanted men. A 
multitude of press accounts from AP, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, 
Newsweek, and perhaps two dozen major international press organizations have 
documented not only that the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA had been watching 
these two since at least 1999, but also that these agencies at times acted in ways to 
conceal or protect the pair's movements from law enforcement agents who had 
shown interest in them. 12 The press accounts have been corroborated in large 
measure by congressional testimony. 

The pair traveled to Malaysia in January 2000, where they met with the 
highest-level al Qaeda officials, including Mohammed Atta and Khalid Shaikh 
Mohammad. All those attending the meeting were surveilled at every moment, 



230 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



and every activity, from e-mails at Internet cafes to private outdoor meetings to cell 
phone calls, was apparently recorded by both US and Malaysian intelligence. Both 
men had previously been traveling freely even after they had been connected to the 
African embassy bombings of 1998. Nor was their traveling liberty impaired, even 
after connections were later made to an al Qaeda operations center in Yemen and 
the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. Phone calls to and from a Yemeni 
safe house involving the pair were routinely monitored, and it was known that 
Osama bin Laden himself frequently used the house as a logistics center. 

Even after the two had been listed as possible terror suspects, they were allowed 
to re-enter the US after the Malaysia meeting — their visas unchallenged — and 
to live openly in San Diego. They lived first in an apartment where as many as five 
of the 9/11 hijackers came to visit in 2001, then later in the private home of 
Abudssattar Shaikh, who was subsequently revealed to be a "tested asset" of the 
FBI. 13 They stayed with the FBI informant until just before the attacks. 

In the months before the attacks the pair traveled (either separately or togeth- 
er) to Phoenix, where they met with the group being actively surveilled by FBI 
Agent Ken Williams. Papers later recovered from Zacarias Moussaoui mentioned 
Alhazmi and Almidhar as having facilitated his flight training. In spite of an exten- 
sive record of continuing surveillance of the two, and even after they had finally 
been placed on an FBI watch list and a priority CIA alert labeled "immediate" 
issued in August of 2001, they traveled openly and unmolested until the day of the 
attacks, making no attempts to conceal their identities. 14 

Apparently these urgent warnings of FBI Headquarters and the CIA were 
relayed neither to local field offices nor to local police agencies. It's easy to under- 
stand why. A rookie police officer could have found the two before breakfast. Both 
men had California driver's licenses, car registrations, Social Security numbers, 
credit cards in their own names, and even listings in the phone book. They were 
taking flying lessons near San Diego. They traveled under their own names, and 
one of them even booked his 9/11 ticket on the American Airlines website using 
his own credit card. 15 

An analysis of press stories shows that while Alhazmi and Almidhar were want- 
ed for connections to the embassy bombings and the Cole attack — and were 
living with an FBI informant — no one except the other hijackers and the ring- 
leaders was able to find them. At the same time, other press stories indicate that all 
of their communications and movements were being monitored. In fact, during 
his congressional testimony, NSA Chief Michael Hayden admitted that the agency 
had been watching the two and knew of their al Qaeda associations. Even though 
Hayden said that the information had been shared with other intelligence agen- 
cies, a congressional investigation subsequently disclosed that it had not. 16 

The strange behavior of US intelligence puzzled at least two foreign intelligence 
services who were also following the pair very closely. The Malaysian intelligence 
service had done an outstanding job of monitoring the January 2000 meeting of 



PENETRATION 23 1 



al Qaeda leaders as well as two visits to the same Kuala Lumpur condominium by 
Zacarias Moussaoui in September and October of 2000. "The Malaysians said 
they were surprised by the CIA's lack of interest following the January meeting. 
'"We couldn't fathom it, really,' Rais Yatim, Malaysia's Legal Affairs minister, told 
Newsweek. 'There was no show of concern,' he said." 17 

On August 23, 2001, the Israeli Mossad, which had been operating a large spy 
ring inside the United States following al Qaeda, provided the United States with 
a list of 19 terrorists who were planning to carry out an attack in the near future. 
Four of the names on the list are known, and they include Alhazmi, Almidhar, 
Marwan Alshehhi, and Mohammed Atta. In fact, according to multiple news sources, 
Mossad agents had rented an apartment in Hollywood, Florida, near where Atta 
and Alshehhi were then living and taking flight lessons. It may have been the spe- 
cific Israeli warning that finally prompted the CIA to issue its urgent warning just 
weeks before the attacks, a warning which somehow never got circulated. 18 

Alhazmi and Almidhar also share one additional critical distinction. They both 
fought in Chechnya and Bosnia, where the CIA was actively working, with and 
supplying, al Qaeda elements. The pair's Chechen adventure was even acknowl- 
edged by DCI George Tenet in his unclassified testimony before the 9/11 
congressional intelligence panels. 19 

SIGINT: For more than 18 months Italian authorities wiretapped an al Qaeda 
cell in Milan. 20 Starting in October 2000, FBI agents assisted Italian authorities 
in analyzing the tapes, and this resulted in a direct warning to the US from Italy 
that planes might be used as weapons against US targets. 21 

SIGINT: Intercepted communications from Afghanistan indicated that al 
Qaeda could be planning an attack in late June or July. 22 

SIGINT/ELINT/HUMINT: Italian authorities obtained information from 
wiretaps of al Qaeda cells that a possible attack was planned to kill President Bush 
at the G8 Summit in Genoa scheduled for July by crashing aircraft into the sum- 
mit or his hotel. Additional information suggested that Egyptian intelligence had 
achieved HUMINT penetrations of al Qaeda cells that confirmed information 
from the wiretaps and surveillance. Some conversations were recorded as a result 
of the bugging of a Citroen automobile used by Egyptian terrorists in Italy who 
are close to bin Laden. As a result the airspace around Genoa was closed and the 
conference was ringed with anti-aircraft weapons. 23 

SIGINT: In early September 2001 the NSA intercepted multiple phone calls into 
the United States from Abu Zubaida, the man who is reported to be bin Laden's 
operations chief. No details of what was intercepted have been released, but it is 
obvious that the parties receiving the calls would have been identified. 24 

SIGINT: British sources disclosed that telephone conversations between 
Osama bin Laden and associates in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the weeks prior to 
9/11 were monitored and that the attacks were generally discussed in those con- 
versations. 25 



232 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



SIGINT: On September 9, 2001, Osama bin Laden reportedly called his moth- 
er to tell her, "In two days you're going to hear big news and you're not going to 
hear from me for a while." In making this revelation, US officials acknowledged 
that they had been able to monitor "some" of bin Laden's telephone communica- 
tions. At the time bin Laden was using a satellite telephone, and the signals were 
intercepted and "sometimes" recorded. 26 Remember that the bin Laden family owns 
a commercial satellite company. Realizing that perhaps this self-serving revelation 
might later point to negligence or culpability and so backfire, officials downplayed 
the story on CNN, saying they doubted that this actually happened. 27 

SIGINT/HUMINT: In a major post-9/11 speech wherein British Prime 
Minister Tony Blair disclosed the "evidence" against bin Laden, it was revealed that 
the British government had both intercepts and interrogation summaries showing 
that bin Laden had sent out orders for al Qaeda operatives to return to Afghanistan 
by September 10. 28 

SIGINT: At least 30 additional electronic communications were later disclosed 
to have been intercepted by the NSA, including two placed the day before the 
attacks. One stated "the match begins tomorrow" and the other included the state- 
ment, "Tomorrow is zero hour." It was the disclosure of these intercepts by members 
of the Senate intelligence committee that prompted the FBI and the White House 
to threaten senators with polygraph examinations and office searches for disclos- 
ing classified information. The NSA later claimed that the messages weren't 
translated until after the attacks and that the agency had no way to separate them 
from thousands of other messages. 29 Again, utter nonsense. In fact the translation 
excuse is belied by the fact that American scientific journals have described how 
translation software possessed by intelligence agencies turns many of the world's 
spoken languages into substantively reliable English automatically. 30 

SIGINT: Senator Orrin Hatch (R - Utah), later to be chastised by Defense 
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for making an unauthorized disclosure of classified 
information, stated to the Associated Press that the US government was monitor- 
ing bin Laden's communications electronically and overheard two of bin Laden's 
aides celebrating the attacks. Said Hatch, "They have an intercept of some infor- 
mation that included people associated with bin Laden who acknowledged a 
couple of targets were hit." 31 The administration's dilemma was obvious. While 
needing to make the case that bin Laden and associates had perpetrated the 
attacks, they could not afford to have it known that they knew everything that was 
being said in advance. It is preposterous to think that somehow US intelligence 
was able to intercept conversations on the day of the attacks but not before. 

SIGINT: As reported in the German daily Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung (FAZ) 
on September 14, the German intelligence service BND warned both the CIA and 
Israel in June that Middle Eastern terrorists were "planning to hijack commercial 
aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli cul- 
ture." The story specifically referred to Echelon. The BND warnings were also 



PENETRATION 233 



passed to the United Kingdom. 32 No known denial by the BND of the accuracy 
of this story exists, and the FAZ report indicates that the information was received 
directly from BND sources. 

SIGINT: According to a September 14 report in the Internet newswire online, 
i.e., German police, monitoring the phone calls of a jailed Iranian man, learned 
the man was telephoning US intelligence agencies last summer to warn of an 
imminent attack on the World Trade Center in the week of September 9. German 
officials confirmed the calls to the US government for the story but refused to dis- 
cuss additional details. 33 

SIGINT/ELINT?/HUMINT?: Russian intelligence warned the US weeks 
before the attacks that as many as 25 al Qaeda pilots had been training for an 
attack mission in the United States. On the day of the attacks a special Russian 
intelligence emissary delivered audiotapes with telephone conversations directly relat- 
ing to the attacks to a deputy director of the CIA at Langley. In an MSNBC interview 
on September 15, Russian President Putin stated that he had ordered Russian 
intelligence to warn the US government "in the strongest possible terms" of immi- 
nent assaults on airports and government buildings before the attacks on September 
1 1 . No credible information has emerged from any source indicating that Putin 
omitted the above information when issuing the warning. Why would he? 34 

As noted by Peter Dale Scott in Drugs, Oil and War (Rowman & Littlefield) 
bin Laden had for years established close working relationships with the Russian 
Mafias. This has been acknowledged by US government officials. Part of this rela- 
tionship centered on Afghani heroin. From this, there is good reason to infer, 
especially by virtue of the well-documented relationships between former KGB 
officers and the Mafias, that Russian intelligence had also achieved a degree of 
human penetration as well. 35 

SIGINT: On February 13, United Press International terrorism correspondent 
Richard Sale, while covering a Manhattan trial of one of Osama bin Laden's fol- 
lowers, Khalid al Fawaaz, reported that the National Security Agency had broken 
bin Laden's encrypted communications. The story said, 

The US case unfolding against him in United States District Court in 
Manhattan is based mainly on National Security Agency intercepts of 
phone calls between bin Laden and his operatives around the world - 
Afghanistan to London, from Kenya to the United States .... 

On August 1 1 , two days after the bombings were completed, bin 
Laden's satellite number phone was used to contact network opera- 
tives in Yemen, at a number frequently called by perpetrators of the 
bombing from their safe house in Nairobi. 

Since 1995, bin Laden has tried to protect his communications 
with "a full suite of tools," according to Ben Venzke, Director of 
Intelligence, Special Projects for Defense .... 



234 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Since bin Laden started to encrypt certain calls in 1995, why 
would they now be part of a court record? "Codes were broken," US 
officials said. 36 

Even if that revelation prompted an immediate change in bin Laden's methods 
of communication, just six months before the attacks, the administration has con- 
sistently maintained — and military and covert experience dictates — that the 
attacks were planned for at least several years. 

One press account described a related Sale story: " [the] story noted not that the 
US government had gained the capacity to eavesdrop on bin Laden at will but that 

it had 'gone into foreign bank accounts and deleted or transferred funds, and 

jammed or blocked the group's cell or satellite phones.'" 37 

This story, which was not evaluating the same Richard Sale story cited above 
confirmed that the penetrations of al Qaeda had been successful to the point of 
interfering with its finances. That, along with what is known of the Robert Wright 
FBI investigations in Chicago, is proof that al Qaeda financing could have been 
seriously disrupted. 

Researcher Tom Flocco, who wrote a series on 9/1 1 -related insider trading for 
FTW, looked more deeply into this point. Flocco observed: 

In the trial of former Deutsche Bank executive Kevin Ingram, who 
pled guilty to laundering drug money to finance terrorist operations 
linked to al Qaeda just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks, indications 
surfaced that the Justice Department had penetrated the terrorists' 
financial network. A November 16 [2001] Associated Press story by 
Catherine Wilson stated, 'Numerous promised wire transfers never 
arrived, but there were discussions of foreign bankers taking payoffs to 
move the money to purchase weapons into the United States,' said 
prosecutor Rolando Garcia. Two questions are invited but unan- 
swered. How were the wire transfers blocked, and how was the Justice 
Department able to monitor the money flows without alerting either 
the bankers or the suspects? 38 

These are the footprints of PROMIS software. One is now compelled to ask if 
the $100,000 wired to Mohammed Atta by Pakistani ISI Chief and CIA asset 
Mahmud Ahmad was one transfer that the CIA wanted to go through successfully. 

HUMINT/SIGINT: Jordanian intelligence had for years done a masterful job 
of infiltrating al Qaeda. A May 2002, story from The International Herald Tribune 
reported, "Since the early 1990s, the kingdom's well-organized and efficient intel- 
ligence service, the General Intelligence Division (GID), has carefully tracked the 
CIA-trained or Pakistani-trained guerillas or terrorists, or freedom fighters, or 
whatever you choose to call them — who survived their victorious 1979~89 war to 
expel the Soviet invaders from Afghanistan .... Jordan's GID hunted the returned 
fighters, capturing and bringing to justice several who became active terrorists. The 



PENETRATION 235 



GID aided the US government in countless ways, even helping US law 
enforcement officers to apprehend Al Qaeda and other operatives who had formed 
cells in the United States or Canada." 39 

Author John K. Cooley, a veteran of ABC News and widely respected com- 
mentator on terrorism issues, described how in the summer of 2001 the GID made 
an intercept deemed so important that it was relayed to the US government not 
only officially, most likely through the CIA station in Amman, but also personally 
through an Iranian-born German intelligence agent. From my experience this was 
a form of insurance for the Jordanian government in case the US ever denied that 
Jordan had delivered the message or asserted that the Jordanian government had 
been less than a staunch ally. Such is the fear of the Empire's wrath around the 
world. The message clearly indicated that a major attack had been planned inside 
the continental United States and that aircraft would be used. The code name for 
the operation was "Al Ourush," or "The Big Wedding." When this information 
subsequently became embarrassing to the Bush administration, Jordanian officials 
backed away from their earlier confirmations. 40 The administration had been insist- 
ing since the day of the attacks that it had received no specific forewarnings. 

Cooley s story told of a French magazine and a Moroccan newspaper (names 
not given) simultaneously reporting that a Moroccan agent named Hassan Dabou 
had penetrated al Qaeda to the point of getting close to bin Laden, who was "very 
disappointed" that the 1993 bombing had not toppled the World Trade Center. 
The agent remained in place until weeks before the attacks. He successfully deliv- 
ered a message to Moroccan intelligence that al Qaeda was planning "large-scale 
operations in New York in the summer or autumn of 2001." 

Then Cooley dropped a bombshell. 

Though Dabou won bin Laden's confidence at first, according to an 
unnamed French intelligence agent cited in the reports, after he was 
invited to the United States to tell his story he lost contact with al 
Qaeda, curtailing his ability to prevent September 1 1 . Nonetheless, 
the story goes, he was given asylum and a new identity in the United 
States and is said to be helping out in the 'war on terror.' 41 

Judiciously, Cooley added the caveat that he had not been able to confirm the 
Moroccan story as he had the one from Jordan. However, a story from the Times of 
London a month later did just that, and even interviewed a recently surfaced Dabou 
in the process. The lead sentence stated that Dabou had successfully infiltrated al 
Qaeda for more than two years. In addition to confirming Cooley's story, the Times 
disclosed that, acting upon Moroccan intelligence information, the intelligence 
services of Britain, France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands successfully rounded 
up Moroccan suspects in Europe with ties to al Qaeda immediately after the 
attacks. It also confirmed that bin Laden had extensive operations in Morocco and 
that bin Laden's personal pilot L'Houssaine Kerchtou was a Moroccan national. 42 



236 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



It seems that someone in the intelligence community decided to make Dabou 
available for the Times interview — an extremely risky move for someone with the 
kind of knowledge about bin Laden and al Qaeda that Dabou reportedly pos- 
sessed. And Dabou's statement in the Times story that he had broken cover on his 
own to warn of the attacks — a seeming attempt to put spin on Cooley's story — 
is not credible. Breaking cover means that one has exposed oneself as an agent and 
can never go back. No deep-cover agent is left without means of communication, 
and there is nothing to suggest that Dabou learned complete details of the attacks 
moments before they occurred and had to "run for it." The only thing that would 
have justified such a break in cover would have been Dabou's possession of enough 
information to actually prevent the attacks. Otherwise, the number-one impera- 
tive of the agent-in-place is to remain there until that knowledge is secured. 

Judging from years of study of covert operations, talking to those who either 
were undercover or who "ran" assets that were, this episode means only one thing. 
It means that the CIA, knowing that there was an agent-in-place who could have 
compromised the Agency's role in facilitating rather than preventing the attacks, 
knowingly compromised an invaluable operation, extracted someone who could 
not be replaced, brought him to the United States, and hid him from the world in 
order to prevent him from preventing the attacks. 

In light of these revelations about known penetrations of al Qaeda, the words 
of a former Egyptian foreign minister might seem just a little more credible to a 
skeptical American audience and are worth examining closely. 

HUMINT/SIGINT: Egyptian journalist Mohammed Heikal, a former 
Egyptian foreign minister who has been described as "the Arab world's foremost 
political commentator," expressed disbelief that bin Laden and al Qaeda could have 
conducted the 9/11 attack without the US knowing. "Bin Laden has been under 
surveillance for years: every telephone call was monitored and al Qaeda has been 
penetrated by American intelligence, Pakistani intelligence, Saudi intelligence, 
Egyptian intelligence. They could not have kept secret an operation that required 
such a degree of organization and sophistication." 43 

Somebody knew 

Throughout the world the independent media organizations have done an out- 
standing job of picking up and reporting on independently published stories that 
the major media overlooked. One of the most outstanding examples of this was a 
July 16, 2002, piece posted at the website of Portland Indymedia (<www.port- 
land.indymedia.org>) that reproduced the following short article originally found 
at The Memory Hole. 44 

NPR interview on 9/11 confirmed attack was 'not entirely unexpected.' 

It's certainly one of the most disturbing and important indications 
that the government knew the attacks of September 1 1 , 200 1 , were 



PENETRATION 237 



coming. On that morning, National Public Radio (NPR) was pre- 
senting live coverage of the attacks on its show Morning Edition. Host 
Bob Edwards went to a reporter in the field — David Welna, NPR's 
congressional correspondent — who was in the Capitol building as it 
was being evacuated. Here is the crucial portion of Welna's report: 

'"I spoke with Congressman Ike Skelton — a Democrat from 
Missouri and a member of the Armed Services Committee — who 
said that just recently the Director of the CIA warned that there could 
be an attack — an imminent attack — on the United States of this 
nature. So this is not entirely unexpected.' 

(Audio links for this interview are located at The Memory Hole and NPR web- 
sites) <www.thememoryhole.org/tenet-91 l.htm> 

This one story is in diametric opposition to all officially stated US government 
positions about US government foreknowledge of 9/11. In the fall of 2002 I 
placed several calls to the office of Congressman Skelton asking for comment. I 
had hoped to be able to interview him during a pending trip to the Capital. None 
of my calls was returned. 

The bottom line is that, based upon what is known about successful intelli- 
gence penetrations for years prior to the attacks of 9/ 1 1 , Osama bin Laden and al 
Qaeda could not have sneezed without the CIA or the NSA knowing about it. 



CHAPTER 



9/11 Insider Trading, or: 
"You Didn't Really See That, 
Even Though We Saw It" 

A "put" option is a leveraged bet that a stock price is going to fall precipitously 
(a "call" option is the opposite bet). One option covers 100 shares of a given 
stock and usually has an expiration date of four months. For a very small invest- 
ment — sometimes a dollar a share — a speculator can purchase the right to sell 
a stock at a fixed price during the contract period even though he doesn't have to 
own the stock when the option is placed. So if one were to place a single put 
option contract on American airlines at $30 per share and the stock fell to $18 dol- 
lars a few days or weeks later, one could go out and purchase one hundred shares 
at $18 and then immediately exercise the option and sell them immediately at $30 
netting a $ 1 2 per share profit or $ 1 ,200. This is what happened on a far larger scale 
and with many companies around the world on 9/11. 

Outrage and a clear mission 

Sources tell CBS News that the afternoon before the attack, alarm bells 
were sounding over unusual trading in the US stock options market 

— CBS News, September 19, 2001. 1 

• A jump in UAL put options 90 times (not 90 percent) above nor- 
mal between September 6 and September 10, and 285 times higher 
than average on the Thursday before the attack. 

— CBS News, September 26 

• A jump in American Airlines put options 60 times (not 60 per- 
cent) above normal on the day before the attacks. 

— CBS News, September 26 

• No similar trading occurred on any other airlines. 

— Bloomberg Business Report; 2 the Institute for Counterterrorism 
(ICT), Herzliyya, Israel 3 [citing data from the CBOE] 

238 



9/1 1 Insider Trading 239 



• Morgan Stanley saw, between September 7 and September 10, an 
increase of 27 times (not 27 percent) in the purchase of put options 
on its shares. 4 

• Merrill-Lynch saw a jump of more than 12 times the normal level 
of put options in the four trading days before the attacks. 5 

'It's not that farfetched, ' said former SEC enforcement director 
William McLucas, now with the Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering law 
firm. 'This collection of terrorist acts has created a serious problem for our 
markets and a number of industry sectors. It is not as whacky or as Tom 
Clancy-ish as one might like to wish. ' 

'This could very well be insider trading at the worst, most horrific, 
most evil use you've ever seen in your entire life. ...It's absolutely unprece- 
dented to see cases of insider trading covering the entire world from 
Japan to the United States to North America to Europe. ' 

— Dylan Ratigan of Bloomberg News, ABC World News 

Tonight, September 20, 2001. 6 

7 saw put-call numbers higher than I've ever seen in 10 years of 
following the markets, particularly the options markets,' said John 
Kinnucan, principal of Broadband Research, as quoted in the San 
Francisco Chronicle. 

— Montreal Gazette, September 1 9 200 1 

'When I saw the volume of trading going up at other exchanges, I thought 
it was a little peculiar, ' said [Bill] Kennedy, of ING Group NV's ING 
TT&S (US) Securities Inc, explaining that most trading that day was 
on other markets. 'There had not been a lot of volume in American the 
previous week. You hope there was a reasonable explanation, and there may 
very well be, but it leaves a very bad taste in your mouth. ' 7 

It's a matter of great interest to intelligence. To the extent we find this 
evidence, we shouldn't just focus on it as proof of insider trading but as 
evidence of a desire to commit murder and terrorism, 'said Columbia 
University law professor John Coffee. 8 

Germany's Bundesbank chief, Ernst Weltke, said on the sidelines 
of the meeting that a report of the investigation showed 'bizarre' fis- 
cal transactions prior to the attacks that could not have been chalked 
up to coincidence.... Weltke said the transactions 'could not have been 
planned and carried out without a certain knowledge, ' particularly citing 
heavy trading in gold and oil futures. 9 

It's absolutely unprecedented to see cases of insider trading covering 
the entire world from Japan to the US to North America to Europe. ' 

— ABC News Consultant Jonathan Winer, World News 

Tonight, September 20, 2001 



240 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



'AMR [the parent company of American Airlines] now represents 
just a tiny piece of what has become a giant international paper chase. ' 

— National Post, September 22, 2001 

'From my perspective, it is very clear that there was highly unusual and 
suspicious activity in airline and hotel stocks in the days and weeks lead- 
ing up to this attack.' — Phil Erlanger, former senior technical analyst, 
Fidelity investments, writing in his newsletter Erlanger Squeeze Play, 
November 13, 2001. Erlanger added that the inside traders might well 
have made off with billions of dollars from 9/11. 

The Chicago Board Options Exchange, the biggest US options mar- 
ket, said yesterday that it is investigating trading that happened before 
the terrorist attacks that flattened New York's World Trade Center and 
damaged the Pentagon. 

— Montreal Gazette, September 19, 2001 

'[Investigators will] certainly be able to track down every trade, where 
the trade cleared, where the trade was directed from. ' 

— Former SEC enforcement chief William McLucas 
in an interview with Bloomberg News. 10 

'If these clowns really bought puts on airline stocks and financial com- 
panies the day before the attacks, then they left another incriminating 
paper trail that may help provide proof of who masterminded the evil. ' 

— Bloomberg 1 1 

Backpedaling like crazy 

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, the FBI's Dennis Lormel 12 
said on October 3, 2001 before Congress that there were 'no flags or 
indicators' referring to mere 'rumors' about the pre-attack insider 
trading. 13 

However Treasury Secretary O'Neill downplayed hopes for a 
successful investigation by pointing out the challenge of penetrat- 
ing veils of secrecy before a name can be attached to a suspicious 
trade. 'You've got to go through ten veils before you get to the real source.' lA 

— Associated Press, September 20, 2001 

After almost two weeks of investigation, financial regulators around 
the world have found no hard evidence that people with advance knowl- 
edge of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington used that 
information to profit in the international securities markets. And a num- 
ber of officials are beginning to express doubt that such a plan existed. 

While the investigations are continuing and additional evidence is 
still to be reviewed, many leads that initially seemed to indicate a 



9/11 Insider Trading 241 



conspiracy to profit from the terrorist attacks have been found to have 
less sinister explanations. 

— New York Times, September 28, 2001, International Herald 
Tribune, September 29-30, 200 1 1 * 
There has been a great deal of talk about alleged insider trading of 
airline stocks by associates of Osama bin Laden prior to the September 
1 1 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon .... In fact, 
based on financial information almost immediately available to inves- 
tigators, even the most febrile conspiracy theorists would have to 
agree that this dog don't hunt .... such suspicions deserve nothing 
more than a curt 'So what?' 

— Insight Magazine 16 

The only specific explanation offered for the unusual airline trades was, to say 
the least, a two-legged dog. The New York Times suggested that a smaller airline — 
reported by other sources to be Lufthansa — had placed London puts on either 
American or United. The Times did not specify how many trades were made, nor 
relate them to the puts placed through investment bank Alex. Brown (see below) . 
Nor did it state how the "smaller airline's" actions translated into abnormal trad- 
ing at 26 other companies, in oil, or in T-Bills, or in gold. 

The most common explanation offered by nay-saying journalists was a vague 
assertion that airline stocks were weak and the economy had been going into a 
downturn. However, even these assertions were flatly contradicted by a Reuters 
story from September 10 th , headlined "Airline stocks may be poised for take off." 17 
The story reported, "Goldman Sachs, for example, said the firm is now an aggres- 
sive buyer of airline stocks because they are trading at four-year lows and 
valuations are compelling. The firm's top picks are Continental Airlines Inc., AMR 
Corp.'s American Airlines and Delta Airlines Inc." 18 

We don't see any elephant 

A great many people knew that the attacks of September 1 1 th were coming. Some 
of those people made a great deal of money from them. They knew exactly which 
stocks were going to plummet as a result of the attacks, and they knew that the 
attacks were going to succeed. Otherwise they would not have risked the sums of 
money that they did. That knowledge alone demonstrates — as we shall soon see 
— a degree of specific knowledge about the attacks that has not yet been revealed. 
And if the world views the attacks themselves as evil, then the insider trading con- 
nected to them — financial transactions made before the attacks happened and 
which could only be successful with the death of thousands of people — require 
a new word to describe them. I can't find it. 

No rational mind, free of medication, can fail to see that the levels of insider 
trading that occurred before 9/11 were beyond aberrant behavior. 



242 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



And the fact that a single $2.5 million put option trade on United Airlines went 
unclaimed after the attacks is appallingly clear evidence of criminal insider knowl- 
edge. News accounts speculated that those responsible for that particular trade did 
not act quickly enough to claim their profits and did not anticipate that the finan- 
cial markets would be closed for four days after the attacks. 19 Perhaps a group of 
people with access to the knowledge got the idea to make trades at the same time 
and didn't realize it was going to be a stampede that would leave a huge dust cloud 
behind it. In spite of FBI statements calling such trades rumors, and New York 
Times assertions that there were benign explanations for the bizarre trading before 
the attacks, I can think of no reasonable explanation for someone leaving $2.5 mil- 
lion in profits unclaimed, except one: They would be arrested if they showed up 
and asked for it. That, as I learned when I was with LAPD, is another clue. 

The massive insider trading that occurred proximal to the events of September 
1 1 th was not localized. It was, in fact, a worldwide event, and there is no chance 
that all or even most of the trades were made by Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda. 
With a high-caliber networking software program derived from PROMIS, anyone 
with basic knowledge of the transactions (the volume of shares, the prices paid, the 
times of the trades, and the financial firms that handled them) could go on to 
identify the traders as well as their degrees of connection. That at least one intelli- 
gence agency has already done this, must be clear from the deep political 
relationship between intelligence and high finance explored in Chapter 3, The 
CIA is Wall Street. But Langley may not require any retrospective scrutiny of these 
insider trades, having tracked them in real time as they happened. 

Insider trading, or suspicious trades indicating possible 9/11 foreknowledge, 
were reported in the USA, Germany, Britain, Canada, Japan (8 times above nor- 
mal levels on the Osaka Exchange), Switzerland, Hong Kong, France, Italy, Spain, 
Belgium, Luxembourg, and Singapore. Official investigations were announced in 
eight of those countries. Details of these international trades have not been dis- 
closed, but shares of American companies are routinely purchased through foreign 
exchanges. 

Nor was the trading limited to American and United Airlines. Shortly after 
9/11 the SEC issued a sensitive list of some 38 companies whose shares had been 
traded suspiciously. SEC announced that it had quietly established relationships 
with brokerage firms to conduct its investigation. In publishing the list — which 
was quickly withdrawn from public circulation — the Cleveland Plain Dealer 
noted that all of these firms had seen unusual levels of put option purchases right 
before 9/11 and almost every company's shares had fallen sharply right after the 
attacks. The story quoted Morningstar's airline analyst Jonathan Schrader: 

While trading fluctuations happen all of the time for no apparent rea- 
son, it seems there's certainly something here. It's interesting that they 
thought they could get away with it. 20 



9/1 1 Insider Trading 243 



Indeed, no one could hope to get away with it unless they controlled all the 
enforcement mechanisms that would be called in afterward. 

This expansion of the SEC probe was later confirmed by the San Francisco 
Chronicle which reported that the SEC's action in establishing "relationships" with 
private brokerage houses "effectively deputizes hundreds, if not thousands, of key 
players in the private sector." 21 What happens when you deputize someone in a 
national security or criminal investigation is that you make it illegal for them to 
disclose publicly what they know. Smart move. In effect, they become government 
agents and are controlled by government regulations rather than their own con- 
science. In fact, they can be thrown in jail without a hearing if they talk publicly. 
I have seen this implied threat time and again with federal investigators, intelli- 
gence agents, and even members of the United States Congress who are bound so 
tightly by secrecy oaths and agreements that they are not even able to disclose crim- 
inal activities inside the government for fear of incarceration. Even members of 
Congress fear that kind of retaliation and punishment. That restraint is much worse 
for members of congressional intelligence committees who sign even more dracon- 
ian secrecy agreements in order to get their assignments. 

As the Chronicle story emphasized, the SEC was looking for people it could 
trust. "In a two-page statement issued to 'all securities-related entities' nationwide, 
the SEC asked companies to designate senior personnel who appreciate 'the sensi- 
tive nature' of the case and can be relied upon to 'exercise appropriate discretion' 
as 'point' people linking government investigators and the industry." 22 Of course, 
such trust was meant to preclude precisely the sort of whistleblowing that might 
have led to a genuine investigation. 

As mentioned above, not only did the insider trading involve oil and gold, it 
also involved heavy volumes in US T-Bills. The Wall Street Journal reported that 
there was an unusually high volume in the purchase of five-year Treasury notes just 
prior to the attacks and that these included one $5 billion trade. 23 Treasury notes 
are highly valued as safe havens for investors when the markets are in trouble and 
T-Bill prices rose immediately after the attacks. 

More evidence appeared and had to be thoroughly ignored because it could not 
be explained with spin or ridicule. Convar, a German firm hired to retrieve data from 
damaged computer systems left in the rubble of the World Trade Center, found that 
there was a deluge of electronic trading just minutes before the first plane struck. 
Quoting a December 16 report from Reuters, writer Kyle Hence (of <www.911cit- 
izenswatch.org>) found a compelling quotation from one of Convar's directors: 

Peter Henschel, director of Convar . . . said, 'not only the volume, but 
the size of the transactions was far higher than usual for a day like 
that.' Richard Wagner, a data retrieval expert, estimated that more than 
$100 million in illegal transactions appeared to have rushed through 
the WTC computers before and during the disaster. 24 



244 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



The Reuters story was partially confirmed for me when I was contacted by a 
Deutsche Bank employee who had survived the attacks by fleeing the WTC after 
the first plane hit. According to the employee, about five minutes before the attack 
the entire Deutsche Bank computer system had been taken over by something 
external that no one in the office recognized and every file was downloaded at 
lightning speed to an unknown location. The employee, afraid for his life, lost 
many of his friends on September 1 1 , and he was well aware of the role that the 
Deutsche Bank subsidiary Alex. Brown had played in insider trading. He also vol- 
unteered something that was being increasingly recognized around the world. 
Mohammed Atta and many of the 9/11 hijackers who had lived and planned for 
months with al Qaeda leaders in Frankfurt, Germany had kept accounts with 
Deutsche Bank. 

How much money was made overall? Only those inside government agencies 
in the US and abroad know and they can't or won't talk. But outside the United 
States, there are some exceptions: "Andreas von Biilow, a former member of the 
German Parliament, once responsible for the oversight of the German secret serv- 
ices, estimated that profits by inside traders were $15 billion. CBS offered a far 
more conservative figure when it reported (September 26) that 'at least seven coun- 
tries are dissecting suspicious trades that may have netted more than $100 million 
in profits.'" 25 

Revealing the secrets 

Of all the stories I've written, the one that seems to have caused the most uproar 
was published one month after the attacks. Since publication of that story the 
entire United States government — as well as the entire world financial system — 
has gone completely silent about the insider trading. Why? 

Answering that question is not so difficult; it requires a modicum of intellectu- 
al courage and some acquaintance with the scope and nature of insider trading prior 
to 9/ 1 1 . Before we answer some of the more deeply disturbing questions about the 
insider trades, I want to put the October 2001 FJW story in front of you — so you 
can see the monkey wrench that ground the propaganda machine to halt. 26 

SUPPRESSED DETAILS OF CRIMINAL INSIDER TRADING 
LEAD DIRECTLY INTO THE CIA's HIGHEST RANKS 
CIA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR "BUZZY" KRONGARD 
MANAGED FIRM THAT HANDLED "PUT" 
OPTIONS ON UNITED AIRLINES 
by 

Michael C. Ruppert 

FTW, October 9, 2001 — Although uniformly ignored by the main- 
stream US media, there is abundant and clear evidence that a number 



9/1 1 Insider Trading 245 



of transactions in financial markets indicated specific (criminal) fore- 
knowledge of the September 1 1 attacks on the World Trade Center 
and the Pentagon. In the case of at least one of these trades — which 
has left a $2.5 million prize unclaimed — the firm used to place the 
"put options" on United Airlines stock was, until 1998, managed by 
the man who is now in the number three Executive Director position 
at the Central Intelligence Agency. Until 1997 A.B. "Buzzy" 
Krongard had been Chairman of the investment bank A.B. Brown (or 
Alex. Brown). A.B. Brown was acquired by Banker's Trust in 1997. As 
part of the merger, Krongard then became Vice Chairman of Banker's 
Trust Alex. Brown, one of 20 major US banks named by Senator Carl 
Levin this year as being connected to money laundering. Krongard's 
last position at Banker's Trust (BT) was to oversee "private client rela- 
tions." In this capacity he had direct hands-on relationships with 
some of the wealthiest people in the world, in a kind of specialized 
banking operation that has been identified by the US Senate and 
other investigators as being closely connected to the laundering of 
drug money. 

Krongard joined (or perhaps, rejoined) the CIA in 1998 as coun- 
sel to CIA Director George Tenet. He was promoted to CIA Executive 
Director by President Bush in March of this year. BT was acquired by 
Deutsche Bank in 1999. The combined firm is the single largest bank 
in Europe. And, as we shall see, Deutsche Bank played several key 
roles in events connected to the September 1 1 attacks. 

The Scope of Known Insider Trading 

Before looking further into these relationships it is necessary to look 
at the insider trading information that is being ignored by Reuters, the 
New York Times, and other mass media. It is well documented that the 
CIA has long monitored such trades in real time, as potential warn- 
ings of terrorist attacks and other economic moves contrary to US 
interests. Previous stories in FTWhave specifically highlighted the use 
of PROMIS software to monitor such trades. 

It is necessary to understand only two key financial terms to under- 
stand the significance of these trades: "selling short" and "put options." 

"Selling short" is the borrowing of stock, selling it at current mar- 
ket prices, but not being required to actually produce the stock for 
some time. If the stock falls precipitously after the short contract is 
entered, the seller can then fulfill the contract by buying the stock 
after the price has fallen and complete the contract at the pre-crash 
price. These contracts often have a window of as long as four months. 

"Put options," [See above] 



246 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

A September 21 story by the Israeli Herzliya International Policy 
Institute for Counterterrorism, entitled "Black Tuesday: The World's 
Largest Insider Trading Scam?" documented the following trades con- 
nected to the September 1 1 attacks: 27 

• Between September 6 and 7, the Chicago Board Options Exchange 
saw purchases of 4,744 put options on United Airlines, but only 
396 call options. Assuming that 4,000 of the options were bought 
by people with advance knowledge of the imminent attacks, these 
"insiders" would have profited by almost $5 million. 

• On September 10, 4,516 put options on American Airlines were 
bought on the Chicago exchange, compared to only 748 calls. There 
was no news at that point to justify this imbalance. Assuming that 
4,000 of these options trades represent "insiders," they would rep- 
resent a gain of about $4 million. 

• The levels of put options purchased above were more than six times 
higher than normal. 

• No similar trading in other airlines occurred on the Chicago 
exchange in the days immediately preceding Black Tuesday. 

• Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., which occupied 22 floors of 
the World Trade Center, saw 2, 1 57 of its October $45 put options 
bought in the three trading days before Black Tuesday; this com- 
pares to an average of 27 contracts per day before September 6. 
Morgan Stanley's share price fell from $48.90 to $42.50 in the 
aftermath of the attacks. Assuming that 2,000 of these options con- 
tracts were bought based upon knowledge of the approaching 
attacks, their purchasers could have profited by at least $1.2 million. 

• Merrill Lynch & Co., with headquarters near the Twin Towers, saw 
12,215 October $45 put options bought in the four trading days 
before the attacks; the previous average volume in those shares had 
been 252 contracts per day [a 1,200 percent increase!]. When trad- 
ing resumed, Merrill's shares fell from $46.88 to $41.50; assuming 
that 1 1 ,000 option contracts were bought by "insiders," their prof- 
it would have been about $5.5 million. 

• European regulators are examining trades in Germany's Munich Re, 
Switzerland's Swiss Re, and AXA of France, all major reinsurers 
with exposure to the Black Tuesday disaster. [FTW Note: AXA also 
owns more than 25 percent of American Airlines stock making the 
attacks a "double whammy" for them.] 

• "October series options for UAL Corp. were purchased in highly 
unusual volumes three trading days before the terrorist attacks for a 
total outlay of $2,070; investors bought the option contracts, each 



9/1 1 Insider Trading 247 



representing 100 shares, for 90 cents each. [This represents 
230,000 shares]. Those options are now selling at more than $12 
each. There are still 2,313 so-called 'put' options outstanding [val- 
ued at $2.77 million and representing 231,300 shares] according to 
the Options Clearinghouse Corp." 

• The source familiar with the United trades identified Deutsche Bank 
Alex. Brown, the American investment banking arm of German 
giant Deutsche Bank, as the investment bank used to purchase at 
least some of these options. This was the operation managed by 
Krongard until as recently as 1998. 

• As reported in other news stories, Deutsche Bank was also the hub 
of insider trading activity connected to Munich Re that took place 
just before the attacks. 

• The thoroughly unconstitutional power of the CIA can be measured 
by its impunity. In the face of overwhelming proof that the Agency 
knew about the attacks and did not stop them, its leadership 
remains totally silent on the issue. Whatever our government is 
doing, whatever the CIA is doing, it is clearly NOT in the interests 
of the American people, especially those who died on September 
ll. 28 

The hornets swarm 

That was it. From the moment I broke that one story and made a single appear- 
ance on Pacifica radio's "Guns and Butter" show produced and hosted by Bonnie 
Faulkner and Kellia Ramares on October 12, the government never uttered anoth- 
er affirming public word about the insider trades as an avenue of post-9/11 
investigation. And the major media, being unwilling to look at anything that 
pointed at the CIA, went dead silent. 

A barrage of critics appeared, and for weeks they tried to spin my revelations 
away. No one, they said, would risk insider trading on so small an amount of 
money as $2.5 million dollars. But this, of course, proved nothing. They were 
either lying or mistaken, because they ignored all the well-discussed reports of per- 
haps billions of dollars in profits in many other countries. 

Some critics like Insight Magazine's Kelly O'Meara wrote that trading levels of 
put options had been higher earlier in 2001 so there was therefore no proof that 
anyone had advance knowledge. 29 A generally outstanding investigative reporter 
(who has written excellent stories I cite elsewhere in this book), O'Meara missed 
the boat on this one. Insider trading is not measured solely by the number of put 
options purchased and whether they spike or not. It is measured, as noted above, 
by a marked imbalance between the number of put options as compared to the 
number of call options in conjunction with a spike in purchases and several other 
factors. While the first two quarters of 2001 did see larger numbers of put options 



248 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



purchased on both UAL and American Airlines, the fact is that almost as many call 
options were placed in the same period. And the Insight story didn't even mention 
the reports from CBS, Bloomberg, and ABC or the opinions of financial experts 
charged with monitoring such activity right after the attacks which screamed insid- 
er trading all over the place. 

During the first two quarters of 2001, with the Dow above 10,000 and in a 
very flat market with no precipitous ups and downs, trading volumes were on 
average about 30 percent to 50 percent higher than they were before the Dow 
started its dramatic decline in the late summer of 2001. So were the numbers of 
puts and calls. As one experienced trader explained to me, "In a flat market, the 
serious traders place large numbers of put and call options at the same time. It's 
a way to generate cash flow if the market is only moving a few points one way or 
the other. But insider trading is a certainty if you see the two way out of balance, 
especially by many orders of magnitude. That's about the clearest warning there 
is. 

Both CBS News and the Associated Press agreed with this clear description of 
what constitutes insider trading: 

The trades are called "puts" and they involved at least 450,000 shares 
of American [Airlines] .... But what raised the red flag is more than 
80 percent of the orders were "puts," far outnumbering "call" options, 

those betting that the stock would rise Sources say they have never 

seen that kind of imbalance before, reports CBS News correspondent 
Sharyl Attkisson. Normally the numbers are fairly even .... An 
extremely unbalanced number of trades betting [that] United's stock 
price would fall also transformed into huge profits when it did [fall] 
after the hijackings. 30 

The Herzliya Institute for Counterterrorism — whose initial comprehensive 
analysis of the known patterns of trading alerted me to the scandal — also agreed 
on the imbalance issue overlooked by O'Meara. And it was their analysis that was 
the first to start asking the real hard questions that so much of the American media 
has been eager to sidestep. 31 

I can only speculate that O'Meara, like so many Americans since 9/11, did not 
want to recognize (or perhaps, admit) that the trading led right to the heart of the 
US intelligence community. As this chapter is intended to show, the trading story 
also has grave implications for the character of intelligence agencies around the 
world. It therefore casts the legitimacy of their sponsoring governments into doubt 
— and leaves little room for the more comforting idea of nation-states as world 
citizens whose international competition can offset their national excesses. 
Intelligence agencies can't be loyal to the national interest when their national gov- 
ernments have been quietly replaced by multinational corporations and/or organized 
crime syndicates. 



9/1 1 Insider Trading 249 



Putting the trades in context 

No one has disclosed exacdy how many insider trades were made through so many 
different countries. Many trades were probably made through shell corporations, 
entities that the CIA has a special expertise in creating. So, of course, do organized 
criminal enterprises. And it is possible that some trades on US markets were placed 
through overseas brokerages. While former SEC enforcement chief McLucas was 
correct in his statement about being able to track the trades, he did not state that the 
trail would lead, through normal channels, to the original purchaser. In many cases 
the trail, still closely guarded as a state secret, will stop at the water's edge. PROMIS 
software and its progeny can leap off from that point and track a trade anywhere on 
Earth, but the US government does not acknowledge its own use of PROMIS in 
financial investigations. In the previous chapter I noted however that official USG 
records indicate that international wire transfers of terrorist groups had been blocked 
and bank accounts monitored. So why couldn't it be done with the put options? 

Any statement by the US government that it lacks the ability to trace the trades 
is the dog that can't hunt. 

Investigative journalist Tom Flocco wrote a subsequent three-part series on 
insider trading for FTW. Flocco obtained a revealing partial denial from the CIA 
on the issue: 

In a returned phone call from the Central Intelligence Agency, press 
spokesman Tom Crispell denied that the CIA was monitoring "real- 
time," pre-September 11, stock option trading activity within United 
States borders using such software as the Prosecutor's Management 
Information System (PROMIS). 

"That would be illegal. We only operate outside the United 
States," the intelligence official said. However, when asked whether 
the CIA had been using PROMIS beyond American borders to scru- 
tinize world financial markets for national security purposes, Crispell 
replied, "I have no way of knowing what operations are [being affect- 
ed by our assets] outside the country." 32 

When Flocco obtained this statement, the use of PROMIS by the Department 
of Justice and the FBI had already been exposed by FOX News and confirmed by 
my own investigations. The CIA knew that, as a result of my previous investiga- 
tion into PROMIS involving the RCMP, I was in possession of a paper trail 
showing that CIA had the software as well. 

Unfortunately it is impossible, because of banking secrecy and privacy laws, for 
a journalist to obtain trading records. The few trades that have been documented 
here are only the tip of the very large iceberg that German Central Bank chairman 
Weltke referred to in his candid initial statements. 

Following up on some of the many unanswered questions Flocco tried to put 
the heat on some of the government agencies charged with investigating the trades: 



250 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Wide reports — including a 9/28/01 story in the Asian Wall Street 
Journal and a 10/1/01 story in the Guardian — indicate that investi- 
gators are checking Deutsche Bank's alleged links to Saudi "private 
banking," terrorist bank accounts, and $2.5 million in unclaimed United 
Airlines (UAL) put options profits; however, no government acknowl- 
edgement had ever been given of CIAs alleged use of PROMIS software 
prior to the attacks. 

In a recent phone conversation, when asked about alleged terrorist 
ties to Deutsche Bank and potential pre-attack CIA trade monitoring 
via PROMIS, Treasury Department spokesman Rob Nichols remarked, 
"This is clearly an interesting line of questioning regarding conflicts of 
interest." 33 

Flocco then took his FTW investigation to the New York Stock Exchange. The 
results were less than satisfying. 

And after pressing for information about what the NYSE is actually 
doing to investigate the suspicious trades on behalf of thousands of vic- 
tims' families who may be concerned about the 'prior-knowledge' issue, 
[NYSE Communications Director Ray] Pellecchia still declined to con- 
firm that Doherty's enforcement office had even sent a report to the SEC. 

When asked why so many former key CIA executives currently 
hold, or have held in the past, top-level executive management posi- 
tions connected in some way to the stock market via either the SEC, 
NYSE, or other investment banking entities, Pellecchia replied terse- 
ly, 'I am quite aware of Mr. Doherty's background and experience.' 

As noted in Chapter 5, Doherty is the NYSE's executive vice president for 
enforcement. He is a former general counsel of the CIA. 

Pellecchia also declined to discuss anything related to current CIA 
Executive Director A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard and his past relationship 
with Alex. Brown. 34 

Flocco's subsequent investigations disclosed that a former Banker's Trust 
Deutsche Bank executive, Kevin Ingram, had — just before the attacks — pled 
guilty to laundering drug money to finance terrorist operations for groups linked 
to Osama bin Laden. He also found that Deutsche Bank, long a favorite of the bin 
Laden family, turns up all throughout the post-9/ 1 1 financial investigations of the 
hijackers and their support network. Flocco discovered also that Deutsche Bank 
had correspondent relationships with banks in Bahrain and Kuwait that had served 
George W. Bush when he was engaging in his own illegal insider trading of the 
shares of his company Harken Energy just prior to the first Iraqi war. 

Not surprisingly, both of those banks — Kuwait Finance House and Faysal 
Islamic Bank of Bahrain — had dealt with Al Qaeda and bin Laden, and both had 



9/1 1 Insider Trading 251 



been uncooperative with the US government's "all-out" hunt for terrorist money. 
What was surprising is that when the Bush administration released its worldwide 
list of suspect financial organizations and vowed to track down and eliminate ter- 
rorist financing, these two banks didn't even make the list. 35 

Mayo Shattuck III — another clue 

Mayo Shattuck III is an extremely powerful and influential mover and shaker in 
the financial world. As head of the Alex. Brown unit of Deutsche Bank on 9/11, 
he had previously been involved in deals with Russian ruble trading, Microsoft, 
the Bronfman dynasty, Enron (where he assisted in deceptively concealing 
Enron's debts 36 ), and with a massive insider trading scandal involving Adnan 
Khashoggi's Genesis Intermedia right before 9/11. 37 He was midway through a 
three-year, 30-million dollar contract as the head of the Alex. Brown unit of 
Deutsche Bank when the attacks came. Shattuck (who knows Buzzy Krongard 
well) took over Alex. Brown operations after Krongard had officially gone to the 
CIA in 1998. It was under Shattuck's management that some of the criminal 
trades on United Air Lines were placed right before 9/11. 

Mayo Shattuck resigned suddenly on September 12 th , the day after the attacks. 38 
A close associate of CFR powerhouses like Peter G. Petersen and Steven Bechtel 
of the Bechtel Corporation, Shattuck is today the President and CEO of Constellation 
Energy Group, one of the firms that gained access to Vice President's Dick Cheney's 
energy task force, the one from which the Bush administration is unconstitution- 
ally refusing to release the records. 

Alex. Brown also played a key role in refinancing the Carlyle Group for its 
acquisition of United Defense technologies in 2000. 39 This close connection to Bush 
family business ventures is not a surprise because Alex. Brown's connections to the 
Bush family stretch back for at least seven decades. The Alex. Brown investment 
bank helped to finance and organize the firm managed in the first half of the 20 th cen- 
tury by George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush: Brown Brothers, Harriman. 40 

When all else has been eliminated 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, through his creation Sherlock Holmes, once said that 
whenever you have eliminated all the explanations that are not possible, whatever 
remains — no matter how unlikely — must be the truth. 

There is only one explanation of the 9/11 insider trades that fits with the 
known facts. And strangely enough it is my critics who have helped to make the 
case. The Insight Magazine story offered one critical piece by confirming that it 
was not difficult at all to establish in short order who made the trades. 

Lynne Howard, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Board Options 
Exchange (CBOE), tells Insight that information about who made the 
trades was available immediately. "We would have been aware of any 



252 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

unusual activity right away. It would have been triggered by any 
unusual volume. There is an automated system called 'blue sheeting,' 
or the CBOE Market Surveillance System, that everyone in the busi- 
ness knows about. It provides information on the trades — the name 
and even the Social Security number on an account — and these sur- 
veillance systems are set up specifically to look into insider trading. The 
system would look at the volume, and then a real person would take over 
and review it, going back in time and looking at other unusual activity." 

Howard continues, "The system is so smart that even if there is a 
news event that triggers a market event it can go back in time, and 
even the parameters can be changed depending on what is being 
looked at. It's a very clever system and it is instantaneous. Even with 
the system, though, we have very experienced and savvy staff in our 
market-regulations area who are always looking for things that might 
be unusual. They're trained to put the pieces of the puzzle together. 
Even if it's offshore, it might take a little longer, but all offshore 
accounts have to go through US member firms — members of the 
CBOE — and it is easily and quickly identifiable who made the 
trades. The member firm who made the trades has to have identifiable 
information about the client under the 'Know Your Customer' regu- 
lations (see 'Snoops and Spies,' Feb. 22, 1999), and we share all 
information with the Securities and Exchange Commission." 

Given all of this, at a minimum the CBOE and government regu- 
lators who are conducting the secret investigations have known for 
some time who made the options puts on United and American air- 
lines. The silence from the investigating camps could mean any of 
several things: terrorists are responsible for the puts on the airline 
stocks; others besides terrorists had foreknowledge; or, the puts were 
just lucky bets by credible investors. 41 

While not acknowledging the reality of multiple shell corporations set up to 
conceal the identity of traders, or the fact that some countries don't cooperate fully 
with US investigations and routinely — as admitted by Senator Carl Levin's report 
on correspondent banking — slip transactions through the cracks, Howard not 
only confirmed that the trades could be tracked, she flatly contradicted the sworn 
testimony of the Secretary of the Treasury, Paul O'Neill. 

The New York Times and Bloomberg dropped the biggest bombshells of all by 
admitting something we discussed in the chapter on PROMIS software. Although 
I was not aware of these reports at the time, I had been saying for months in my 
lectures (during 2001-2002) throughout the US, Canada, and Australia that nei- 
ther Osama bin Laden nor al Qaeda would have been so foolish as to telegraph 
their intentions in an environment they damn well knew was watched more close- 
ly than grizzly bear cubs by Mama Bear. 



9/1 1 Insider Trading 253 



Scott Keller, president of DealAnalytics told Bloomberg News, 

It would seem almost incredible to me that anyone would take the 
risk of trying to front-run the market on something like this. It would 
be a life sentence if they got caught. 42 

At the New York Times, spinmeisters Eichenwald and Andrews reported, 

A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, also 
expressed doubt that a trading conspiracy existed. The official said it 
was unlikely that a terrorist group that had worked for months, if not 
years, to orchestrate its attack would be reckless enough to create even 
a subtle signal of its plans by engaging in the high-profile trading of 
public securities. 43 

The trades could only have been made by people high enough in the US, 
Israeli, and European intelligence communities (including Russia) to know about 
the attacks and — more importantly — which of many planned attacks were 
going to be successful. This circle could, of course, have included key world finan- 
cial and political figures who were implementing a global agenda. As we have 
already seen, these two camps are one and the same. There is no other explanation 
that encompasses all the known data, and takes notice of the incredible veil of 
secrecy that has fallen over the issue. 

Evidently, almost all the foreign intelligence services that had penetrated al 
Qaeda ultimately realized that the US government was going to facilitate the 
attacks. That knowledge migrated to certain investors who promptly capitalized on 
it. To have brought these figures to justice would have revealed how much was 
known about the attacks in so many places before they happened. 

Nine agencies — SEC, NYSE, CBOE, Department of Justice, FBI, Secret 
Service, CIA, Treasury, and the National Security Agency — opened investigations 
into insider trading immediately after 9/11 based upon initially admitted and 
obvious evidence that it had, in fact, taken place. Much of the major press imme- 
diately recognized the importance of the story and then shirked its obligation to 
follow up. Not one of the agencies involved has to this day divulged any informa- 
tion to the public. 

All the insanity and depravity suggested by 9/1 1 insider trading was made clear 
when the Pentagon announced, and then immediately scrapped, plans for a futures 
market on terrorist attacks called the Policy Analysis Market. This official program 
constituted a frank admission that people with advance knowledge of terror attacks 
would always seek to capitalize on that knowledge. 44 Although the outrage over the 
program forced the resignation of convicted Iran-Contra felon John Poindexter, not 
a single press story made any connection between the Pentagon's plans and the 
trades of September 1 1 th . The CIA is Wall Street. Wall Street is the CIA. 



CHAPTER 



Israel 

No discussion of the events before, during, and after 9/11 is either complete 
or intellectually honest without looking at Israel. Since 9/11, three nations 
— the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel — have stood virtually alone 
as a tripartite alliance in complete support of the Empire's actions. One of the best 
questions to ask after any major event is Cut bonoi "Who benefits?" And here, 
Israel, the largest recipient of US military and economic aid, has ranked at, or near, 
the top of the list in almost every world development. There is some good, and 
much that is bad, to be said about Israel and its actions. But almost every attempt 
at rational discourse on the question of the use of Israeli power has been hobbled 
by emotional, almost hysterical preconceptions — either pro or con — that miss 
some very important pieces of the new, accurate map I have been trying to draw 
for you. 

Many of the top members of the Bush administration have exceptionally close ties 
with the Israeli government. These include the former Chairman of the Pentagon's 
Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle; Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; 
Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith; Edward Luttwak of the National 
Security Study Group; Dov Zakheim, the Pentagon's Chief Financial Officer on 9/1 1; 
Elliot Abrams at the National Security Council, and Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. 
Some have even worked on joint planning projects with Israeli ministries. These 
relationships alone make Israel a subject worthy of discussion. These and many 
other Israeli-connected experts formed the core group at the Project for a New 
American Century that had drafted plans for the invasion of Iraq long before 9/11. 

This chapter is a brief effort to put some very important pieces into place. And 
I should say at the outset that none of my research has found any compelling data 
to suggest that Israel was the architect or mastermind of the attacks of September 
1 1, as is obvious from the preceding chapters. It would have been impossible for 
the Israeli government to have so compromised US intelligence, military, eco- 
nomic, and political systems as to have had control of the operation, not to 
mention the full and unquestioning cooperation of the American mid-level func- 
tionaries needed to execute it. 



254 



Israel 255 



I'm repeating that statement here because it's so important to prevent the very 
common shaming, diversionary behavior illustrated by the following vignette: A 
colleague of mine who has been tireless in his efforts to distribute evidence of US 
government complicity in the attacks approached FOX News commentator Chris 
Matthews at a post-9/ 1 1 book signing. After he waited in line and then tried to 
place some of the evidence I've described in this book in Matthews's hands — a 
Quixotic effort in my opinion — Matthews asked him, "This isn't one of those 
'The Israelis did it' things, is it?" 

This shows how little real analysis is being done by the media, but it also shows 
the way valid questions are deflected or intentionally ignored by shame-based, pro- 
pagandistic rhetoric. Any criticism of Israel tends to get dishonestly recast as 
anti-Semitism. So let's get a couple of things straight. Israel is not Judaism. 

One is a state and the other is a religion. For centuries, Muslims and Jews lived 
side by side in relative tranquility in the Middle East. And during the Middle Ages 
it was the Muslims who gave Jews fleeing European Christian persecution safe 
haven in the Holy Land, where each group generally practiced its own religion in 
peace. A single day's reading in the Torah, the New Testament, and the Koran is 
enough to show that within each monotheist sacred text are passages of exclusivi- 
ty and intolerance and other passages urging accord and acceptance. Islam is typical 
here; and while it takes a dim view of polytheist cultures like Hinduism, much of 
the Koran teaches that Jews should be good Jews and that Christians should be 
good Christians. 

The term "anti-Semitism" refers to a European social and political phenome- 
non (which, like much of European pre- World War II ideology, still lingers in 
some places, e.g., Japan). Anti-Jewish feeling, thought, and behavior are as old as 
monotheism itself and have undergone almost as many transformations. There's 
the anti-Judaism of late antiquity; the massacres against Jews in the Crusades and 
the Inquisition, the murderous pogroms by rural European peasants in the 18 th 
and 19 th centuries, the middle-class resentment, mythologizing, and persecution 
that led to the Dreyfuss Affair in 1890s France, and a massive wave of hatred 
toward Jews that came upward from European folk ideology and downward from 
fascist and rightist parties and governments in the first half of the 20 th century. 
Like all forms of bigotry, "Anti-Semitism" remains a serious problem all over the 
world. But the phrase itself has no real anthropological basis; it dates from the 
1 870s, when most European writers still divided up the world's peoples according 
to Biblical categories — "Semites" were thought to be descended from Noah's 
son Shem, while everybody else came from either Ham or Japhet. In fact, 
Antisemitismus was invented as part of an effort by German racist authors to 
replace the religion-based Jew-hatred (Judenhass) of the past with a more modern, 
ethnicity-driven contempt. Of course, this apparently intellectual construct bare- 
ly masked a deep reservoir of anti-rational, virulent hatred. It formed the basis for 
the pseudo-scientific racism of the Nazi movement. 



2S6 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

So the term shouldn't be used to refer to the attitudes of either side in the Arab- 
Israeli conflict, where it's misleading and inapt. As is often pointed out, Arabs and 
Jews are both called "Semitic" peoples. More importantly, "Anti-Semitism" is worse 
than useless in any discussion of Israeli domestic and international affairs. To talk 
about Israel as if its every citizen thought, felt, and acted as a unit in some giant 
monolithic crowd is as unfair as assuming that every American supports all of the 
US government's actions, its economic policies, and its militarism with exactly the 
same degree of feeling and for exactly the same reasons. Clearly, within Israel there 
are hugely divergent opinions on everything including the occupied territories and 
settlements, Palestinian history and politics, the conduct of Israel's foreign and 
domestic policies, and the vexing issue of compulsory military service. And Israel 
has a sizeable antiwar movement opposing the invasion of Iraq by the US. So what 
is important (indeed, essential) to examine are the actions of the Israeli government, 
in exactly the same way that we have examined the actions of the US government. 
Supporters of the state of Israel are often hysterically unable to tolerate that kind of 
critique, as though they know (all-too consciously in some cases, perhaps uncon- 
sciously in others) that a clear examination of Israel's national conduct reveals a 
pattern of stark horrors. This sort of denial is best maintained by ad hominem 
attacks, the most effective being the easy slander of anti-Semitism; if you're having 
any trouble preventing criticism of Israel, call the critic a bigot and it's all over. 

Sometimes those reactions are triggered by the genuine anxiety that remains a 
permanent feature of Jewish life since the Holocaust. But it's very common for 
journalists (say, Chris Matthews), politicians, officials, and disinformationists to 
squander, sabotage, or abort an exceedingly important debate by turning on the 
red megaphone that warns against what isn't there. 

To say that Israel did not perpetrate the attacks of 9/ 1 1 is not to deny that the 
Israeli government was very close to those attacks and may have played a role in 
them. There is evidence that points both ways. On the one hand it is clear that 
Mossad made several attempts to warn the US government that the attacks were 
coming — in one case even providing the US government with a list that includ- 
ed the names of four of the 9/11 hijackers, including Mohammed Atta and that 
charmed pair, Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almidhar. 1 Everybody knew the attacks 
were coming. Yet even after this information was in American hands, various agencies 
of the US government allowed Alhazmi and Almidhar to roam free and unmolested. 

The analysis of insider trading by the Herzliya Institute for Counterterrorism 
(ICT) is another example of Israeli action pointing toward, rather than away from, 
evidence that the CIA knew what was going on and allowed the attacks to happen. 

But perhaps the most compelling reason to discount assertions that Israel was 
the primary executor of the attacks is the following UPI story, which is one of the 
most overlooked bombshells in the whole 9/11 saga: 

A leaked Federal Aviation Administration memo written on the evening of 
September 11 contains disturbing revelations about American Airlines Flight 11, 



ISRAEL 257 



the first to hit the World Trade Center. The "Executive Summary," based on infor- 
mation relayed by a flight attendant to the American Airlines Operation Center, 
stated "that a passenger located in seat 10B shot and killed a passenger in seat 9B 
at 9:20 a.m. The passenger killed was Daniel Lewin, shot by passenger Satam Al 
Suqami." The FAA has claimed that the document is a "first draft," declining to 
release the final draft, as it is "protected information," noting the inaccuracies in 
reported times, etc. The final draft omits all mention of gunfire. Lewin, a 31 -year- 
old American-Israeli citizen was a graduate of MIT and Israel's Technion. Lewin 
had immigrated to Israel with his parents at age 14 and had worked at IBM's 
research lab in Haifa, Israel. Lewin was a co-founder and chief technology officer 
of Akamai Technologies and lived in Boston with his family. A report in Ha'aretz 
on September 17 identified Lewin as a former member of the Israel Defense Force 
Sayeret Matkal, a top-secret counter-terrorist unit, whose Unit 269 specializes in 
counter-terrorism activities outside of Israel. 2 

This particular story raises a multitude of questions. Guns were on the hijacked 
flights? How did they get there? Why have they not been mentioned? What was 
someone with Lewin's background doing sitting in front of one of the hijackers on 
the day of the hijackings? Was he still active? Mere coincidence is nearly impossible 
here. So the question becomes: did the hijackers — all nineteen of them — plan 
their activities to kill Lewin, or was Lewin following the hijackers even into the 
gates of death? Did they have to kill him to complete their mission? Who had pen- 
etrated whom, and who had compromised Lewin's presence on the plane hijacked 
by Mohammed Atta? One thing is absolutely clear from my vantage point: some- 
one at the highest levels of the Israeli government deemed Lewin expendable. 

Behind the fragile logic and the false rumors that thousands of Jews didn't show 
up for work at the World Trade Center on 9/ 1 1 lie deeper truths that raise darker 
questions. As a classic piece of disinformation, the rumor about Jews not showing 
up for work — latched onto by prejudiced and undisciplined minds — made it 
impossible to rationally discuss such things as the Zim Israeli-American shipping 
lines having vacated their offices in the World Trade Center just a week before the 
attacks and moving to Norfolk, Virginia. Two sources told me on condition of 
anonymity that Zim broke its lease to make the move. 

The disinformation worked like a charm. Here's one example: an African- 
American poet, Amiri Baraka, nearly lost his post as Poet Laureate of New Jersey 
in an apparent reprisal for his embrace of this particular rumor. Just a month after 
9/11, Baraka published "Somebody Blew Up America," a passionately interna- 
tionalist poem against fascism in all its forms. But he didn't do enough homework, 
and a single line, "Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers / To stay home 
that day?" touched off a small storm of boring controversy that clogged much of 
the Black press, the Jewish press, and the regional mainstream press for weeks. It's 
unfortunately true (and rarely noted) that Baraka has written some very bigoted 
poems in the past 35 years, but "Somebody Blew Up America" is not one of them. 



258 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Yet it's the one that got all the noise, and the whole episode helped to shut down 
any legitimate discussion of Israeli foreknowledge and possible involvement in 
9/11. Those who believed the rumor think they needn't look further, and those 
who rejected it think the same, for opposite reasons. 

So let's take a critical and rational look at Israel based upon facts. Let's stop to 
examine the truth behind an Israeli spy ring that was operating all over the United 
States before 9/11 and documented by the DEA, the FBI, and the CIA. And then, 
let's try to place Israel within the context of 21 st century transnational fascism and 
the new order evolving at the end of the age of oil. 

The record 

Let's compare the violation of UN resolutions by Israel and by Iraq. 
IRAQ: 

• UN Resolutions violated, ignored: 16 

• Countries attacked, invaded, violated: Iran, Kuwait 

• Countries occupied for years: None 

• Countries currently occupying: None 

• Territory illegally annexed: None 

• Wars started: 1980, 1990 

• Possesses weapons of mass destruction: Unverified as of this writ- 
ing. (However, evidence has surfaced this year showing that the 
United States provided Iraq with bioweapons material for, among 
other things, anthrax, plague, smallpox, and West Nile virus, as well 
as materials for the manufacture of chemical weapons during the 
1980s. Iraq also likely possesses small quantities of nerve agents such 
as CS, GB (Sarin), and VX gasses. But these are not legally or intu- 
itively weapons of mass destruction. These gases dissipate and 
become harmless roughly 30 minutes after being deployed on the 
battlefield.) 

• Possesses nuclear weapons: No. 

• Most notable atrocity against civilians: Mass killings of Kurds and 
Shi'ite Muslims numbered at less than 5,000 per incident. (New 
information from CIA records and testimony this year shows that 
Iraq — as widely reported — was not guilty of gassing as many as 
100,000 Kurds in the early 1990s. It was Iran, concerned about sep- 
aratist sentiments in its own Kurdish population.) 3 

• Currently under a regime of UN sanctions: Yes 

ISRAEL: 

• UN resolutions violated, ignored: 68 

• Countries attacked, invaded, violated: Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, 
Syria, Tunisia. 



ISRAEL 259 



• Countries occupied for years: Egypt, Lebanon, Syria 

• Countries currently occupying: Syria 

• Territory illegally annexed: Golan Heights, Jerusalem, Palestinian 
Territories 

• Wars started: 1956, 1967, 1982 

• Possesses weapons of mass destruction: Yes 

• Possesses nuclear weapons: Yes 

• Most notable atrocity against civilians: 17,500 Lebanese civilians 
killed in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon 

• Currently under a regime of UN sanctions: No 

Most of this material was compiled by Richard B. Du Boff of Bryn Mawr 
University and published by al Jazeera in September of 2002. The parenthetical 
comments are mine. 4 

Ariel Sharon 

Having narrowly escaped (on a technicality) prosecution in Belgium for a 1982 
three-day orgy of killing and rape at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps that 
occurred when he led an invasion of Lebanon and controlled the area as Israeli 
defense minister, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was also charged with brutal 2001 
and 2002 human rights violations in the Jenin and Nablus townships of the occu- 
pied territories in Palestine. In post-9/1 1 Israeli incursions, many innocent civilians 
were killed, houses were bulldozed, and people were left homeless and without 
food, water, or medical supplies in areas totally surrounded by Israeli Defense 
Forces (IDF). 5 

Covert operations and 9/11 connections 

An Israeli owned company, ICTS, had a contract to provide security at Boston's 
Logan airport, from which 9/11 Flights 1 1 and 175 originated. And either direct- 
ly or through subsidiaries it had contracts at every other airport where planes were 
hijacked on 9/11. The same company was apparently well aware that alleged shoe 
bomber Richard Reid was connected to al Qaeda, and yet they still allowed him 
to board the Paris-US flight he tried to blow up. If the UPI story about a gun on 
Flight 1 1 is correct, then this might help explain how it got through screening. 6 

FBI sources were quoted in an ABC News story indicating that five employees 
of an Israeli-owned moving company were on the roof of their truck in New York 
City with photographic equipment as the attacks were occurring on 9/ 1 1 . A for- 
mer CIA official confirmed that the names of several had turned up in an 
intelligence database, and the men were subsequently deported. 7 

In December of 2002 Palestinian security forces arrested a group of Palestinians 
for acting as agents provocateurs in collaboration with Israel. Those arrested had 
been posing as al Qaeda operatives in attempts to discredit Palestinians in the eyes 
of the US and the world and to buttress Sharon's claims that al Qaeda cells were 



260 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



operating in regions where the IDF has been engaging in brutal operations. A fol- 
low-up story in Israel's Ha'aretz confirmed some details of the Palestinian 
allegations and disputed others. 8 Historically, there has been no connection 
between al Qaeda and the Palestinian cause. 

In June of 2002 six men carrying Israeli passports who had been previously 
detained by the INS later became the subjects of a manhunt after US authorities 
feared that they might be plotting terror attacks, possibly on the Alaska pipeline or 
a Florida nuclear reactor. Release of the men — after confirming that their pass- 
ports were valid — by the INS before contacting the FBI reportedly made FBI 
Director Mueller "furious." 9 

In the fall of 2002 a well-financed ring of Israeli computer hackers began a sab- 
otage and eavesdropping campaign against interests in America that had been critical 
of Israel and supportive of Palestinian interests. One of the targets was University of 
Illinois international law professor Francis Boyle. The tactics used included the 
rewriting of text on certain websites, the sending of phony emails intended to create 
animosity or discredit the victim, and deluging targets with tens of thousands of 
messages. The ring, operating from Israeli occupied territory, was eventually tracked 
down and exposed. 10 

In August of 2002 a Zim Antwerp ship, operated by Israel, was seized in Germany. 
It was filled with weapons and munitions headed for Iran. The firm, closely connect- 
ed to the Israeli government, had been licensed to export the cargo to Thailand, but 
German intelligence had apparently determined that the final destination was Iran. 11 

In another backfired covert operation, what was originally heralded as a dra- 
matic January 2002 Red Sea interception of an Iranian ship filled with weapons 
headed for Palestine turned out to be a major embarrassment for the Israeli gov- 
ernment. The Karine A, contrary to what the Israelis had asserted, was not a 
Palestinian or Iranian vessel, and the whole affair was likely manipulated to pro- 
vide a propaganda edge for Ariel Sharon as US envoys met with Palestinian 
officials. Lloyd's of London produced documents proving certain parts of the 
Israeli story false and disproving Israeli claims that the weapons had been bought 
in Iran by Palestinian interests. 12 

In 2000, after a protracted court battle, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai 
Brith (ADL) lost a civil suit in California federal court after it was found that the 
ADL had engaged, in cooperation with Israeli and South African intelligence agen- 
cies, in a massive domestic spying operation against American citizens and 
organizations such as Green Peace and groups opposed to US involvement in the 
Contra war. American officials who cooperated with the ADL were sometimes 
given all-expenses-paid trips to Israel, where they were introduced to representa- 
tives from the Mossad and Shin Bet intelligence services. It was found that the 
ADL had broken many laws by storing illegal intelligence records from local, state, 
and federal law enforcement agencies. In ruling in favor of the plaintiffs a US 
District Court judge permanently enjoined the ADL from engaging in any further 



Israel 261 



illegal spying against "Arab- American and other civil rights groups." Several mem- 
bers of the House of Representatives were plaintiffs in the suit. 13 

On April 25, 2002, former Congressman Pete McCloskey of California was 
awarded a $1 50,000 judgment against the ADL in a related case. McCloskey's suit 
was prompted by FBI and San Francisco police raids on ADL offices which dis- 
covered that the ADL had files on almost 10,000 people across the US, and that 
about 75 percent of the material had been illegally obtained. Two of the three vic- 
tims in the case who won awards were Jewish. This ruling followed a March 3 1 , 200 1 , 
ruling in a Denver court upholding a $10.5 million defamation judgment against the 
Anti-Defamation League for falsely labeling two Colorado residents as anti-Semitic. 14 

To think of the ADL affair as something that originated solely with Israeli 
impetus is to overlook some key historical data. In the wake of myriad violations 
of US law committed by the FBI, the military, the CIA, and other government 
agencies in the 1960s and 1970s, and especially after the damning revelations of 
the Frank Church (D-ID) and Otis Pike (D-NY) congressional investigations in 
the mid 1970s, American agencies were forced to divest themselves of illegal 
records and to cease domestic spying operations. The problem, from their point of 
view, was how to hold on to data they deemed irreplaceable. The ADL, a non- 
governmental organization connected with a foreign government, seemed an 
ideal solution. The solution was not without its costs. 

In the 1980s the Los Angeles Police Department's Public Disorder Intelligence 
Division (PDID) was found to have been doing what was accomplished by other 
agencies directly through the ADL. Ultimately some ADL connections surfaced in 
the PDID case. Tens of thousands of illegal intelligence records were disclosed as 
having been stored in the private residence and storage facilities rented and main- 
tained by LAPD Detective Jay Paul. Paul, who was later revealed to have ties to 
Israeli interests, maintained many of the records on computers provided by an 
ultra-right-wing group, Western Goals. Sitting at the time on the board of direc- 
tors of Western Goals was Iran-Contra figure and retired Army General John 
Singlaub, a virulent anti-Communist and CIA-connected covert operative. 

As the LAPD scandal was unfolding I served as one of the unnamed sources for 
the Los Angeles Times' reporting of the scandal. Although the Times stopped well 
short of stating that US intelligence agencies had supported this intelligence gath- 
ering, two decades later the pattern is very clear. The ADL was there when it was 
needed. Yet in using the ADL as a plausibly deniable cutout, American intelligence 
agencies at the state and federal level paid a price. They gave the ADL license to 
use the data for its own purposes and created a monster that ultimately became a 
liability in its own right. 

The art students 

A DEA report from 2001 firmly establishes that in 2000 and 2001 the United 
States was entered by at least 120 Israeli intelligence operatives posing as art 



262 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



students. 15 The M.O. of the ring was to have its members conduct street and 
door-to-door sales of artwork in specific areas of interest. Some of those areas were 
in Hollywood, Florida, San Diego, and Phoenix, where many of the 9/11 hijack- 
ers had lived and trained. The investigation revealed that the areas of interest at 
one level were offices of the DEA and other federal agencies and the homes of 
those who worked there. 

Initial reports by FOX News's Brit Hume and Carl Cameron caused great 
national interest and international reaction in December 2001 by revealing active 
government investigations into the ring before and especially after 9/11. The 
report disclosed that many of the ring's activities seemed to run parallel with the 
movements of several of the 9/11 hijackers. Sources have told me that the infor- 
mation breaking the story was leaked to Hume by Vice President Dick Cheney at 
a DC-area a cocktail party about two months after the attacks. 

The FOX stories raised interesting questions about two Israeli-owned compa- 
nies in the US. One of them, Amdocs, handles almost all telephone billing records 
in the United States and thus was in a position to provide invaluable intelligence 
information about who was being called from what phones anywhere in the coun- 
try. The second company, Comverse, has multiple contracts to handle sensitive 
wiretap operations for government agencies, and FOX reported that the Comverse 
systems included a "back door" for outside parties with access to it to overhear mon- 
itored conversations. 16 This is reminiscent of the back door in PROMIS software. 

Cameron's story made it clear that federal investigators were highly concerned 
about indications that suspects in the spy ring and — by implication — some of 
the 9/11 hijackers were able to avoid detection and capture as a result of informa- 
tion derived from these two companies. This was a bit of disinformation that 
yielded great payoffs for the administration. The FOX and other stories from the 
same period revealed that some 60 Israelis had been detained and deported just 
after 9/11 for passport and visa violations. 17 

Comverse becomes especially interesting because of its relationship with the 
Israeli instant-messaging firm Odigo. On September 1 1 employees of Odigo in 
Israel received specific instant messages warning them of the attacks two hours 
before they happened. Although the story received intense attention briefly, little 
follow-up was done in the major press, and whatever was learned was subsequent- 
ly hidden behind veils of secrecy. 18 

One breathtaking connection that was overlooked by the mainstream press, 
however, was that in January 2001, Comverse, along with Lazard Technology 
Partners and another venture capital group, purchased a $15 million stake in 
Odigo, giving it access to Odigo's operations, accounting, and technologies. 19 

The FOX stories clearly implied that the Israeli operatives had not done all they 
could have to help prevent the attacks and suggested that the Israelis had more 
knowledge about the attacks than had been publicly disclosed. At one point Hume 
asked Cameron, 



ISRAEL 263 



Carl, I want to take you back to your report last night on those 60 
Israelis who were detained in the anti-terror investigation, and the 
suspicion that some investigators have that they may have picked up 
information on the 9/11 attacks ahead of time and not passed it on. 
There was a report, you'll recall, that the Mossad, the Israeli intelli- 
gence agency, did indeed send representatives to the US to warn, just 
before 9/11, that a major terrorist attack was imminent. How does 
that leave room for the lack of a warning? 

To which Cameron replied: 

I remember the report, Brit. We did it first internationally right here 
on your show on the 14 th . What investigators are saying is that that 
warning from the Mossad was nonspecific and general, and they 
believe that it may have had something to do with the desire to pro- 
tect what are called sources and methods in the intelligence 
community. The suspicion being, perhaps those sources and methods 
were taking place right here in the United States. 20 

As previously noted, the Mossad warning was specific enough to have named 
four of the hijackers. Again, a bit of deception by FOX, whose news director is for- 
mer Reagan and Republican Party advisor Roger Ailes. Though subtle and vague, 
Hume's implication was that Israeli operatives were assisting the terrorists. And it 
was enough to spark an Internet avalanche of speculation by biased covert opera- 
tions dilettantes claiming that Israel had masterminded and executed the attacks. 
Once that had started, then the question about Israel, which had apparently begun 
with a leak from Dick Cheney, was misdirected and distorted into something that 
the media, e.g., Chris Matthews, could effectively dismiss out of hand. And yet the 
incident had cost Israel dearly in terms of prestige and credibility. Also, as we shall 
see below, it had served to hide some darker truths. 

Shortly after the FOX News stories, investigative journalist and former naval 
and NSA intelligence officer Wayne Madsen secured a copy of the DEA report 
that had started it all. It revealed a great deal more than FOX let on. 

Most of the targets for walk-in sales by members of the ring were DEA offices. 
The DEA did not play any central role in 9/11. 

• Members of the ring also made cold-calls at the private residences of 
DEA employees, federal judges, Secret Service agents, and other fed- 
eral law enforcement and military personnel. This indicates that the 
ring had acquired the home addresses — quite possibly through 

telephone records of DEA employees all over the country and 

was quietly making that fact known for reasons I will discuss below. 

• On December 12, 2000, one Israeli named Shay Ashkenazi, when 
stopped for an INS screening after entering the US, volunteered 



264 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

information about the art students to authorities indicating that it 
was a fraud ring and actually named one of participants. Ashkenazi 
told the INS officers that he was a "former Israeli intelligence officer 
who was now traveling to 'enjoy life.'" This means that one Israeli 
intelligence operative tipped off the US government to the work of 
other Israeli intelligence operatives. 

• The ring did have very heavy operations in some areas connected 
with 9/11, especially the area around Hollywood, Florida, where 
Mohammed Atta and other hijackers lived and trained, San Diego, 
where Alhazmi and Almidhar lived; and Phoenix, Arizona. In fact, a 
group of these agents were later confirmed to have been living virtually 
next door to Atta's Florida post office box and had been surveilling him 
for some time. Some of these agents had entered the US from Frankfurt, 
Germany, where Atta had also lived and planned for the attacks. 

• The CIA is mentioned in only one place in the report — San Diego 
— where Alhazmi and Almidhar lived. The report said, "The San 
Diego [DEA] Division is currently working with the FBI, Department 
of State, and CIA personnel on advancing the investigation." 21 

Espionage 101 

Those with experience in intelligence operations will recognize some patterns to 
this widespread operation. First of all, when mounting an operation of wide scope, 
governments usually allow the operation to be used for multiple purposes. Within 
the Israeli government there might be three or four different intelligence units that 
could benefit from a large-scale deployment of covert operatives. We have already 
seen how closely intertwined narcotics and intelligence operations are worldwide. 
Not only does drug dealing provide, in some cases, the necessary covert funding 
for the operations themselves, it is also a means of generating income for national 
economies. With the United States and the CIA as the "Alpha dog" in the world- 
wide drug trade, there are few areas of competition left to generate large cash flows. 
One area in which Israeli organized crime has excelled, however, is in controlling 
the largest market share of trafficking in the drug MDMA (Ecstasy). And the 
interfaces between intelligence agencies and organized crime are well documented. 

Secondly, to have a multiplicity of purposes often throws counterintelligence 
personnel off the scent of the real purposes of covert operations. It is common to 
have covert operations that resemble Chinese boxes — one inside the other. Not every 
member of the art student ring would have known of deeper operations intended to 
track the 9/11 hijackers, and for good reason. And the fact that one Israeli intelligence 
operative actually tipped US authorities off to the operation might well have been a 
plausibly deniable heads-up to US intelligence that the ring was here and on the move. 

A close reading of the DEA report suggests that on one level it was a direct 
intimidation effort aimed at various elements of the federal government. Nothing 



ISRAEL 26S 



more disrupts criminal investigations than any hint that suspects have acquired the 
home addresses of investigating officers and know how to find their families. In 
dozens of cases, members of the ring showed up at private residences when only 
wives or other relatives were at home. Some of those relatives, their suspicions 
aroused, followed the art students and their canvases only to see that they had not 
called on any neighboring homes. It would have been nothing for Israeli intelli- 
gence to later hand over the addresses of these investigators to Israeli organized 
crime members, who are not known for their congeniality. 

Yet on a deeper level this story reveals that Israeli intelligence services were oper- 
ating as an accomplice of the US government to see that certain of the attacks 
would be successful, and that, if the need arose, other attacks could be prevented. 
Israeli agents compromised in the operation would not have led directly to the US 
government, and ultra-sensitive missions are often subcontracted between govern- 
ments. As history shows, Israel has benefited enormously since the attacks, using 
the wave of emotion to brutally consolidate its positions — often to the point of 
embarrassing the United States. And, when two people are both guilty of murder, 
they can usually be counted on to keep their mouths shut. 

An interesting side note to the art student spy scandal is the fact that after 
receiving the DEA report and authenticating it, Madsen wrote a story for the 
newsletter Intelligence Online published by Guillaume Dasquie, author of Forbidden 
Truth. From there it was picked up by Le Monde and reignited as a story of world- 
wide interest. But in early March, Madsen also took the DEA report to TV news 
reporter Dale Solly at Washington's ABC affiliate WJLA. On March 5, at the top 
of the 5 PM report, Solly aired an interview with Madsen. In that report Solly 
asked, "But what, if anything did they learn? At worst, Madsen says, " Solly contin- 
ued, "they had advance knowledge of the attacks and either didn't share all of it with 

US intelligence or were ignored if they did Late today, the FBI and DEA confirmed 

the arrests. The French newspaper Le Monde called this the biggest Israeli spy case in 
this country since the Jonathan Pollard case in 1986. " 22 

Solly, then 53, a nonsmoker and dedicated runner, died of a sudden heart attack 
on April 27. Anonymous sources who knew him stated that there was a consider- 
able delay in securing a statement from the coroner that the cause of death was 
natural. What is harder to dismiss is the fact that one of WJLAs newsroom direc- 
tors, Phil Smith, also died of a sudden cardiac arrest within three weeks of Solly. 23 

Before looking at deeper reasons why Dick Cheney would have wanted to 
bring the whole matter to light, it's necessary to look at the role of Israel in 
American politics. 

AIPAC and Israeli political influence 

Few Washington insiders will deny that the American Israeli Public Affairs 
Committee (AIPAC) is probably the most influential lobby in Washington. It is 
not difficult to find press stories about Israeli politicians boasting that the American 



266 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Congress is "controlled" by Israeli interests. Again, it is critical to find the truths 
and the untruths in statements like this. 

I have witnessed the power of AIPAC. In mid December 2001, while in 
Washington, I happened to sit in on the mark-up of a House resolution in the 
International Relations Committee. The resolution was one condemning Iraq for 
its role in terrorism and its repeated violation of human rights. I walked into the 
hearing room in the Rayburn office building and sat in the crowded spectator area, 
which was occupied primarily by staff of the various members debating and vot- 
ing on the measure. They had come to watch an important political event in the 
wake of 9/1 1. It proved to be more enlightening listening to the staff members — 
who worked in the offices of members with whom I don't usually do business — 
than to the members themselves. 

The vote started slowly, with many of the votes going against the resolution. It 
seemed as though the harsh anti-Iraq resolution might fail. There had, after all, 
been no evidence released that Iraq had had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks. 
But then, from side doors in the rear of the hearing room, various representatives 
started sticking their heads in the door long enough to say "Aye." These were some 
of the most powerful members of the committee including among others, Henry 
Hyde, Ben Gilman, and Tom Lantos. As the members who were all voting in favor 
of the resolution stuck their heads in the door to vote, I overhead staff members 
all around me saying, "Here comes the AIPAC vote." The staffers were cynical, 
even fatalistic about the outcome. The measure passed by a wide margin, and it 
was not long afterwards that I reached the conclusion that we were going to go to 
war with Iraq. 

Further evidence of Israeli influence over the US Congress was seen in 
November 2001, when 89 out of 100 US senators signed a letter urging President 
Bush not to hamper Israel's activities in retaliation for a wave of Palestinian suicide 
bombings that helped to turn Israel and Palestine into sausage factories. Justly 
playing on the point that no act of terror against innocent non-combatants is jus- 
tified, the letter neglected to mention anything about the way Israel was using its 
massive military might to dislocate hundreds and thousands of Palestinian citizens 
who had nothing to do with the attacks. 24 

On August 26, as if the wishes of the Israeli government were not already 
known, an aide to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon formally urged the US to begin the 
invasion of Iraq as soon as possible, saying, "Any postponement of an attack on 
Iraq at this stage will serve no purpose." 25 

The 2002 midterm elections 

Two African American members of the House fell, in large measure, as a result of 
being targeted by AIPAC and pro-Israeli American Jewish organizations in their 
2002 primaries before the November election. The chief crimes of Earl F. Hilliard 
of Alabama and Cynthia McKinney of Georgia seem to be that they had openly 



ISRAEL 267 



supported Palestinian rights and had openly questioned the conduct of the Israeli 
government. A fact that aided in McKinney's demise was that she had long been 
a vocal critic of the CIA, covert operations, and globalization under both 
Presidents Clinton and Bush. And she had dared to make a public statement ques- 
tioning how much the administration knew about the attacks of 9/ 1 1 before they 
happened. Shortly after this, a series of stories appeared suggesting that McKinney 
actually supported terrorism because less than a half dozen campaign donors had 
previously expressed support for Hamas and Hezbollah. I strongly suspect that at 
least some of those donations were planted in her campaign to discredit her. 

McKinney's courageous stance made her a target of Republican interests as well 
as AIPAC, and the two combined in a serious effort, using heavy crossover (and 
possibly illegal) voting by Republicans and very large campaign donations from 
pro-Israel organizations and interests outside of Georgia into the coffers of her 
pro-Israel, pro-war, African American rival, former state judge Denise Majette. 
McKinney, a five-term member of the House, lost her primary. A lawsuit chal- 
lenging the legality of the crossover vote is currently under appeal. 

McKinney actually won the Democratic Party vote. Nevertheless the 
Washington Post, Reuters, CNN, and the Congressional News Service all acknowl- 
edged that she was targeted by AIPAC and out-of-state, pro-Israel funding, and 
that this made the difference in her defeat. 26 

Just days after the 2002 midterm elections, the Jerusalem Post published a cele- 
bratory story about how the 108 th Congress would remain strongly pro-Israel, 
tallying up the Jewish members of both Houses. While there is an ample, but by no 
means uniform, correlation between Jewish identity and support for the state of 
Israel among American Jews, that correlation is almost absolute among Jewish 
members of Congress. The Jerusalem Post story noted how the 108 th Congress 
would bolster President Bush's agenda for regime change in Iraq. Ironically, it cited 
the strongly pro-Israel stance of the new senator from Minnesota, Norm Coleman, 
as he replaced the late Senator Paul Wellstone — perhaps the only Jewish American 
legislator to take a position substantively critical of Israeli policy in the occupied ter- 
ritories. The Post didn't discuss that aspect of Senator Wellstone's legacy. 27 

Reaching an understanding 

Israel has always spied on the US. Perhaps the most famous Israeli spy is an 
American Jew named Jonathan Pollard, who compromised secret US communi- 
cations technology in the 1970s and 1980s and remains in maximum security 
lock-up. Former CIA officials have categorized Pollard as perhaps the most dam- 
aging spy ever to have betrayed his country. And in December 2001 American 
physicist Richard Smyth pled guilty to illegally providing Israel with nuclear trig- 
gers in 1982. He then spent 16 years on the run until he was captured. 28 What 
happened in these cases and in the case of the art students is nothing new. For 
decades the Israeli desk at the CIA was the only national intelligence desk at the 



268 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



agency kept within the Counterintelligence Directorate. The portfolio was han- 
dled for most of that time by the legendary alcoholic and paranoid James Jesus 
Angleton, who — even today — many believe was an Israeli mole. 

In short, the mutually beneficial but mutually compromising relationship between 
America and Israel is the source of both geopolitical cooperation and domestic polit- 
ical sabotage. When an international institution like the UN threatens to take a 
position against human rights violations or aggressive warfare, Israel and the US 
can generally be found opposing it together. While the US maintains its perma- 
nent military outpost in the most oil-rich region on the planet, Israel fends off the 
legitimate claims of displaced Arabs without worrying over its own strategic encir- 
clement. But those needs require continual surveillance and penetration of each 
country by the other. 

There is a compelling case that Israel acted as a partner with US intelligence 
and financial interests in seeing to it that the attacks of 9/ 1 1 were carried out. Israel 
had the unique HUMINT and the ELINT capabilities to track, and even quietly 
protect, the 9/11 hijackers from capture without the hijackers knowing it. It also 
had PROMIS software. In that role they served as a cutout for US interests and 
afforded the CIA with a layer of protection. Neither the US nor Israel can afford 
to have these secrets come out, and each has a blackmail option against the other. 
If the claim that Dick Cheney leaked the art student story to Brit Hume is true, 
then what we witnessed was the American giant disciplining its headstrong junior 
partner. 

And what might be Israel's future role? Consider the moneyed interests behind 
the neo-cons as a kind of corporate board. In the new world order that is emerg- 
ing after 9/11, Israel is positioning itself to occupy the position of executive vice 
president in charge of Middle Eastern affairs. As it does so, the financial and mil- 
itary powers of what has become an almost openly fascist world order continue to 
drive humanity toward the brink of destruction. 

However, as we shall soon see, there will be more very compelling evidence to 
show that Israel acted as a junior partner to key US leaders to actually carry out 
the attacks of 9/11. 



CHAPTER 



Silencing Congress 

In the post-9/11 world of its own making, imperial America demonstrated an 
impressive new level of ruthlessness. Congress was the first and most important 
arena for a spectacular melodrama of political brutality. Starting within a week of 
September 1 1 th the imperial power moved quickly and aggressively to silence those 
who threatened its interests. While some efforts were successful, others were not. 

Believing that Congress will save the day is a trap. After more than 20 years of 
study and interaction with it, I reached the familiar conclusion that Congress is 
ineffective because its power is concentrated among a very few profoundly com- 
promised legislators. Only the committee chairpersons and the party leadership 
can either promote or prevent serious change. On 9/11, the major senators in this 
category were former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and the Chairman of 
the Senate Judiciary Committee, Pat Leahy. 

Because of their charismatic appeal and outspokenness, some members of the 
House of Representatives are threats to the Empire. These members take serious 
risks when they speak out. They pose greater dangers because they can spark pop- 
ular sentiment and break (or redirect) the mass media's hypnotic hold on the 
public. In this category one finds Representatives Ron Paul of Texas, John Conyers 
of Michigan and Henry Waxman of California; former Representatives Cynthia 
McKinney and Bob Barr; and, in the Senate, Russ Feingold and the late Paul 
Wellstone. Conyers and Waxman have fought diligently in defense of civil liber- 
ties and executive branch accountability; if they are able to persist, they may yet 
succeed in restoring a degree of sanity to our political culture. Ron Paul, a feisty 
libertarian M.D., has been an eloquent champion of fiscal responsibility and an 
opponent of draconian moves toward compulsory vaccinations in the post-9/11 
world. 

Tom Daschle and Pat Leahy 

Tom Daschle was in a position of enough power to derail all of the Empire's new 
legislative imperatives. Though his public stance vocally supported the adminis- 
tration's agenda, there were indications that, in the ultra-nationalistic fervor that 

269 



270 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



followed the attacks, he was having quiet reservations about the new authoritarian 
onslaught. Daschle is by no means a crusader. Yet by October 10 th his leadership 
had allowed Russ Feingold of Wisconsin to block passage of the undebated (and 
largely unread!) US Patriot Act — a monstrosity whose immediate passage the 
White House demanded. 1 

Getting Daschle (and his presidential ambitions) into line was a critical task for 
the Empire, because major pieces of legislation like Homeland Security, various 
bioterrorism measures, and a multitude of investigations were soon going to fall 
within his grasp. Prior to 9/11 he had not been a vocal critic of Washington's ways, 
but as events would show, it was imperative to make sure that he would not find 
his voice. 

On October 15 it was disclosed that Daschle's office had received an anthrax 
letter, and that several members of his staff had been exposed. 2 By the 18 th of 
October it was disclosed that as many as 3 1 senate staff members had tested posi- 
tive for anthrax. 3 

The Patriot Act that eviscerated the Constitution was passed without debate on 
October 24 th , 2001. Politically and physically frightened, a chamber full of prag- 
matists adapted to the new world by trading the Bill of Rights for their own 
political and physical security. In other words, Congress had gotten the message. 
The few opposition voices that remained, having been rendered ineffective, could 
be left in place as symbols to show that debate still existed. On January 29, 2002, 
CNN announced that both the president and vice president had asked Daschle to 
limit any congressional investigations into the attacks, arguing that they might 
take resources away from the war against terror. 4 Not only did Daschle comply, he 
delayed public investigations until revelations from other sources, particularly 
rank-and-file FBI agents, dictated that they had to be held in order to maintain 
the credibility of American government. 

Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont was also in a position to derail many of the 
unconstitutional actions and the legislation coming out of the White House. As 
chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee he apparently had the power, the obliga- 
tion, and the willingness to do so. He did it eloquently and with great fire until it 
was his turn to suffer. Throughout September, October, and November, Leahy was 
an open critic of the Bush administration and particularly of Attorney General 
John Ashcroft's moves to wiretap attorney-client conversations, to detain foreign 
nationals in secret and without trial, and to conduct secret military tribunals with 
the power of life and death where constitutional concerns had been tossed out the 
window. 

Leahy was especially irritated at Ashcroft's imperial refusals to come and answer 
questions before his committee. He sent several terse letters to Ashcroft and ulti- 
mately demanded that Ashcroft appear. When that failed, Leahy demanded a written 
response to important questions from the committee. Ashcroft ignored Leahy, but 
only up to a point. 



Silencing Congress 271 



On November 1 6 Senator Leahy received his own anthrax letter. And the anthrax 
sent to Leahy's office was incredibly powerful, concentrated at a trillion spores per 
gram. 5 When, on December 6, Ashcroft finally made an appearance before the 
Judiciary Committee he was treated with kid gloves in an utterly appalling display 
of total surrender. I found it hard to keep from screaming as I watched Ashcroft 
enjoy his dog-and-pony show on C-SPAN. 

It was not for some months that the American public and the world were to 
learn that the Ames strain of anthrax, which was identified as the strain sent to 
Congress, was solely and exclusively the product of a CIA weapons research pro- 
gram involving the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases 
(USAMRIID), the Dugway Proving Ground, and the Batelle Memorial Institute. 
All of the anthrax sent post-9/ 1 1 had come from within the United States and had 
originated in CIA-run covert research programs. 6 

Cynthia McKinney and Bob Barr 

There is no question that of these two brave former members of Congress, who 
are as ideologically different as night and day, Cynthia McKinney stirred the most 
domestic and international reaction by asking questions that needed to be asked 
and by directly challenging the administration on its obvious deceptions. Bob Barr 
had also been extremely vocal in his criticism of the administration's assault on the 
Bill of Rights. McKinney and Barr represented neighboring districts in Georgia 
until January of 2003. Both were defeated in their primary election campaigns in 
August of 2002. 

Barr, a Republican, had been one of the most outspoken critics of Bill Clinton 
and a leader of the Clinton impeachment effort in 1998-1999. He was one of the 
most conservative members of the House, and he supported the war on terror. Yet 
in defending the Constitution he crossed a line. An Associated Press story in 
November of 2001 opened with the lead: 

Georgia Rep. Bob Barr, a harsh critic of President Clinton in the pre- 
vious administration, now has become the most outspoken Republican 
opponent of President Bush's efforts to expand law enforcement powers 
to combat terrorism .... there are parts [of the war on terror] the former 
federal prosecutor doesn't like, such as more wiretaps and possible mil- 
itary tribunals. He has gone on television, written newspaper columns, 
and issued statements to draw attention to what he, as well as more 
liberal lawmakers and groups, sees as infringements on privacy rights. 7 

The demise of McKinney and Barr was, at least in part, a bipartisan operation. 
There is a message in this. And because McKinney had asked tougher questions, 
she received a special kind of treatment reserved for no other. With the exception 
of Paul Wellstone, she was the ultimate congressional object lesson presented by 
the Empire after 9/11. 



272 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



McKinney's crime 

On March 25, 2002, McKinney appeared on a Berkeley, California, radio program 
on the Pacifica network, hosted by Dennis Bernstein. There she made the follow- 
ing statements: 

Moreover, persons close to this administration are poised to make 
huge profits off America's new war. Former President Bush sits on the 
board of the Carlyle Group. The Los Angeles Times reports that on a 
single day last month, Carlyle earned $237 million selling shares in 
United Defense Industries, the Army's fifth-largest contractor. The 
stock offering was well timed: Carlyle officials say they decided to take 
the company public only after the September 1 1 attacks. The stock sale 
cashed in on increased congressional support for hefty defense spend- 
ing, including one of United Defense's cornerstone weapons programs. 

Now is the time for our elected officials to be held accountable. 
Now is the time for the media to be held accountable. Why aren't the 
hard questions being asked? We know there were numerous warnings 
of the events to come on September 1 1 . Vladimir Putin, President of 
Russia, delivered one such warning. Those engaged in unusual stock 
trades immediately before September 1 1 knew enough to make mil- 
lions of dollars from United and American airlines, certain insurance 
and brokerage firms' stocks. What did this administration know, and 
when did it know it about the events of September 1 1 ? Who else knew 
and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who 
were needlessly murdered? 

We know that there were several warnings that were given prior 
to the events of September 1 1 th . From people in Germany to people 
in the Cayman Islands to people who . . . even, now we learn about 
the owners of the pilot schools. People were calling in to the CIA and 
the FBI, and they were giving information that was critical. Even 
prior to these warnings, we had the trial itself from the 1993 World 
Trade Center bombing. And we had the trial from the American 
Embassy bombings. So we know that the World Trade Center bomb- 
ing trial gave us a lead on the fact that U.S. embassies were being 
targeted. And now the United States government is being sued by 
survivors of the embassy bombings because it is clear that America 
had warning and did nothing, did nothing, to protect the lives of the 
people who served in our foreign service, and who serve us in other 
ways in our embassies around the world. Now the United States gov- 
ernment is being sued and we're going to have to pay for that, as 
those families are now paying every day with the loss of their loved 
ones .... 



Silencing Congress 273 



There was adequate warning. There were people who failed to act 
on the warnings. And THAT'S what ought to be investigated. But 
instead of requesting that Congress investigate what went wrong and 
why, we had President Bush, painful for me to say that, but, we had 
President Bush place a phone call to Majority leader Senator Tom 
Daschle, asking him NOT to investigate the events of September 1 1 th . 
And then, hot on the heels of the president's phone call was another 
phone call from the vice president asking that Tom, that Tom Daschle 
also NOT investigate the events that led to September 1 1 th . 

My question is: What do they have to hide? And why is it that the 
American people are being asked to make tremendous sacrifices now 
in our civil liberties, in the fact that we got this request for an 
unprecedented hike in ... in ... the hike alone, of $48.1 billion, is 
more than any one of our allies spend TOTAL in their defense. 

Then, the other issue that saddens me is the fact that the former 
president, President Bush's daddy, sits on the board of the Carlyle 
Group. And so we get this presidency of questionable legitimacy request- 
ing a nearly unprecedented amount of money to go into a defense 
budget for defense spending that would directly benefit his father! 
Where is the . . . where are the brakes on transparency [sic] and cor- 
ruption that I see happening as a result of the fact that the president's 
father stands to make money off of the very request that the president 
has made on what I would call a specious argument, saying that we 
needed to increase defense spending because of September 1 1 th , when 
we now know that there were enough warnings to September 11 th 
that we didn't even have to experience September 11 th at all, at least 
that's the way it is now beginning to appear. 8 

For just a moment the earth stood still. People around the world held their 
breath waiting for a reaction that was not long in coming. All over the major 
media the reaction was brutal. McKinney had lost it. She was a pushy, arrogant 
bitch who had lost her mind at a time of great crisis. How could anyone suggest 
such things about America's great president? 

She got the worst treatment from FOX News, run by former GOP political 
strategist and Bush ally Roger Ailes. FOX stooped to less-than-covert racial slurs; 
it seemed to me as if they stopped just short of calling McKinney an "uppity 
Negro" on the air. 

Of course, as time revealed, she was absolutely right. And had she made her 
comments just a few months later, after the revelations had come from the Phoenix 
and Minneapolis FBI offices, she might have held her seat. There are strong signs 
that she will be back in office after 2004. Yet she had been a thorn in the Empire's 
side for a long time, and her criticisms had not begun with the Bush presidency. 
She had been a vocal and daring critic of covert operations and human rights 



274 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



violations in the name of profit all throughout the Clinton period. She was fierce- 
ly critical of Israel's conduct. She had been a vocal supporter of Palestinian rights. 
She was the biggest walking bull's-eye in Washington. 

Both McKinney and Barr had to be removed before the general elections. Both 
occupied "safe" seats for their respective parties. If they won their primaries they 
would be re-elected. Not long before the August 20 th primary, stories surfaced in 
Washington, Atlanta, and all around the country disclosing that McKinney had 
received donations from four men and one company that had expressed support 
for the Hamas and Hezbollah organizations. Both had been linked to support for 
organizations that supported terrorism but not to al Qaeda. 9 The largest contri- 
bution was $2,500; one was $1,000 and the rest were either $500 or $250. 10 Just 
prior to the election, several stories reported that some of the donations were 
reported on September 11 th 2001. 11 

The national press had a field day making innuendos that McKinney sup- 
ported terrorism, and that the donations reported on September 11 th had been 
celebratory rewards made by terrorist groups on that day. Only veterans of the 
civil rights movement and historians recalled that during COINTELPRO opera- 
tions in the 1960s the FBI and other entities had attempted to discredit the 
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by making donations later to be exposed as 
having come from Communist organizations. It was not until the 1980s that the 
world learned that King never received a penny from Communists, and that the 
FBI had never been able to find a shred of evidence suggesting that King had 
Communist affiliations. 

Missing from the reports was the fact that the donations had been received at 
a fundraiser on the Friday before the attacks, and that they were simply reported 
the following week in compliance with Federal Election Commission regulations. 
McKinney's staff confirmed this to me when I visited Washington later in the year. 
There was no fundraising activity on September 1 1 th , and though her staff admit- 
ted that the FEC regulations called for donations to be reported on the date 
received, they admitted to clerical tardiness in filing the paperwork. The forms had 
been completed on Monday September 10 th and filed in the early morning of the 
1 1 th . Think about it. Congress was in panic, disarray, and flight on September 1 1 th . 
Nobody was making or receiving any donations with Washington under attack. 
Nobody was even working! 

Also omitted from the press stories was the fact that no politician does a 
background check on every single donor to his or her campaign, especially 
the smaller donors. Because of her pro-Palestinian advocacy McKinney had 
received broad support from Arabs and Muslims all over the country. But it 
was not until after McKinney had been defeated that any major press paid seri- 
ous attention to the fact that her opponent, Denise Majette — a Republican 
African American former state judge and former supporter of Republican Allan 
Keyes — had received enormous campaign funding from pro-Israeli groups. Yet 



Silencing Congress 275 



the Atlanta Journal Constitution found it necessary to go through McKinney's 
list of donors and report how many (less than 25 percent) had "Arab-sounding" 
names. 12 

The most glaring and offensive aspect of the coverage was that none of the 
press, which was so eager to imply that Cynthia McKinney supported or was 
linked to terrorism, bothered to report on the case of the Safa Trust and its direct 
connections to the Republican Party and the Bush White House. Safa Trust is a 
Saudi-backed charity that gave large amounts of money to the Republican Party 
and supported the Bush administration. The FBI, who described it as a money 
laundering operation for terrorist groups, raided it in March 2002. Safa actually 
shared office space with Republican Party activist Grover Norquist. The sums 
involved in Safa's activities were in the tens of thousands of dollars, and this money 
apparently opened doors directly into the Bush White House. 13 

But when the Empire is out to discredit the people's elected Representatives, a 
genuine conflict of interest like the Republican-Safa Trust connection isn't 
required. And as Wayne Madsen showed in an article we republished on the FTW 
website, it used one stone to kill more than one bird. 

Wither Congress, Wither America? 
Crushing Congressional Dissent: 
The Fall of Hilliard, Barr and McKinney 

by 

Wayne Madsen 

Historians will one day write that the 107 th Congress was the last to 
stand up to the constitutional encroachment by the military and 
monarchist policies of the Bush II administration. Just like its ancient 
Roman predecessor, the Congress of the United States is becoming an 
elite club of pathetic assenters and global elitists. Once the domain of 
great orators and dissenters like Cato and Cicero, the power of the 
Roman Senate was eventually subsumed by the Roman Army when 
the Emperor took on dictatorial powers. The Roman Senate could say 
nothing as the military dictatorship annexed Macedonia, Spain, 
Greece, the Middle East, and North Africa. By the time Emperors 
Tiberius and Septimius Severus took power, the Senate, which had 
grown to an elite club of 600, was a rubber stamp body that had no 
choice but to go along with the military's continued usurpation of 
power. 

The United States Congress stands on the same precipice where its 
Roman ancestor once fell. If Bush pulls another electoral coup in 
2004 and we see the presidential election thrown into the House of 
Representatives, the future for the country appears very dim. 



276 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



The August 20 defeat of two Georgia Representatives, one a 
Democrat, the other a Republican, is a bellwether event that bodes ill 
for this November's elections. Rep. Cynthia McKinney was successful- 
ly challenged by a Republican- turned-Democrat for her Fourth 
District seat. Before a cleverly contrived political operation was launched 
under the aegis of Georgia's other quasi-Republican, Senator Zell Miller, 
no one outside of Georgia had ever heard of former state judge Denise 
Majette, a self-described supporter of lunatic fringe GOP presidential 
candidate Alan Keyes in 2000. 

Majette will join in Congress fellow Ivy Leaguer Arthur Davis, 
who beat Alabama Democratic Representative Earl Hilliard in that 
state's primary because of the latter's outspoken support for a more 
even-handed Middle East policy. Hilliard and McKinney join a long 
list of politicians who were defeated after advocating an independent 
US foreign policy in the Middle East: Senators Charles Percy, James 
Abourezk, James Abdnor, and J. William Fulbright, and Representatives 
Paul Findley and Paul McCloskey. The careers of Adlai Stevenson and 
William Scranton were similarly ended after they supported a Middle 
East policy less tied to the interests of Israel. Only Michigan's veteran 
Representative John Dingell was able to stave off a recent assault from 
the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in a 
match off with fellow Representative Lynn Rivers in a redrawn con- 
gressional district. 

However, Dingell's National Rifle Association ally, Georgia 
Representative Bob Barr, was not as fortunate. Barr was also a target 
of Miller's political operation. An opponent of the more draconian 
elements in Bush's and John Ashcroft's U.S.A.-PATRIOT Act and 
Homeland Security Department bill, Barr was a target of oppor- 
tunity for the extreme right that favors turning the United States into 
a version of East Germany or North Korea. Moreover, Barr's chair- 
manship of the House Subcommittee on Commercial and 
Administrative Law gave him real gavel power to block Bush and 
Ashcroft on critical civil liberties and privacy infringements, a power 
Barr has not hesitated to wield. And after supporting Steve Forbes in 
the 2000 GOP primary, Barr did not fit into Bush's binary and sim- 
plistic world: "If you're not with me, you're against me." 

Therefore Miller, who, according to a former aide, is targeting fel- 
low Senator Max Cleland and Georgia Governor Roy Barnes for 
defeat by conservative Republicans, figured out that if Barr support- 
ers in Gwinnett County, which straddles McKinney 's Fourth District 
and Barr's Seventh District, could be coaxed into crossing over party 
lines and voting for Majette, it would kill two birds with one stone. 



Silencing Congress 277 



Barr would lose votes to his opponent John Linder and McKinney 
would get trounced by Majette in a low turnout (25 percent) election 
with a high GOP crossover vote. The gambit paid off. McKinney and 
Barr were both defeated handily, McKinney with the help of 25,000 
crossover votes. Of course, the fact that people not authorized to vote 
in the Fourth District may have voted anyway would fall into the cat- 
egory of election fraud. But after the Florida debacle, the Ashcroft 
Justice Department sees such electoral machinations as an acceptable 
way to remain in power — like any totalitarian regime parading 
before the world as an exemplary democracy. 

That McKinney and Barr were on the same neo-conservative hit 
list was exemplified on August 21 by a second-tier conservative radio talk 
show host in Washington, DC. Speaking on WTNT-AM, Oral 
Roberts University graduate, Pat Buchanan political adviser, and Tom 
DeLay-style Republican talk show host Michael Graham said it was 
great news that two "kooks" had been beaten in Georgia. He then 
stated he was talking about "Cynthia McKinney and her photo nega- 
tive twin, Bob Barr." The statement was clearly racist in nature and a 
not-so-veiled reference, through a warped attempt at humor, to Barr's 
long-rumored African-American heritage. But for the extreme right 
that dominates the GOP, such incendiary xenophobic comments are 
the rule and not the exception. 

McKinney had incurred the wrath of the White House by her 
question about what George W. Bush knew in advance about the 
September 1 1 terrorist attacks. But that was only the tip of the iceberg 
for the Republicans and their major campaign contributors. While it 
is true that McKinney has championed the cause of Palestinian state- 
hood and self-determination, thus inviting the enmity of major 
Zionist organizations in the United States, it was her long-time oppo- 
sition to the trade of blood diamonds and other strategic minerals in 
Africa that earned her a major challenge from multinational corpora- 
tions, including Barrick Gold, on whose board President Bush's father 
serves as an international adviser. Among its other misdeeds, Barrick 
has been accused of helping to cover up the 1996 burying alive by one 
of its subsidiaries of over 50 Tanzanian gold miners in Bulyanhulu, in 
the northwest part of the country. Of course, when it comes to the 
lives and welfare of non-white people, the Bushes have never really 
held any soft spot, whether they are blacks in Africa or America's inner 
cities, Afghan or Iraqi children, or even a troubled half-Hispanic 
daughter/niece/granddaughter in Florida. 

McKinney long advocated a halt in the pilferage of blood dia- 
monds out of African war zones. She cited, on numerous occasions, 



278 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

the result of such commerce: the hacked off limbs, hands, and ears of 
small children in Sierra Leone; the permanent crippling from land 
mines of children in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo 
(DRC), and over 2.5 million deaths from civil wars in the DRC, 
Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi. The diamond profiteers from this 
mayhem and death are largely the Hasidic diamond dealers of Antwerp, 
Amsterdam, New York, and Tel Aviv. These dealers and their lobbyists 
often circled in and out of House hearing rooms and McKinney's office 
when issues relating to stemming the flow of ill-gotten African dia- 
monds came up for discussion. These diamond merchants also have 
a powerful ally in long-time Democratic Party fundraiser and dia- 
mond cartel magnate Maurice Tempelsman. 

Without the robust conscience of Cynthia McKinney and the 
keen skepticism of Bob Barr, the 108th Congress will be a far more 
dangerous place. I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with 
both of them over the years: fighting battles alongside McKinney 
against US human rights offenses in Africa and elsewhere, and along- 
side Barr against rampant US government surveillance of the private 
lives and activities of American citizens. The next Congress will be full 
of complacent African-American opportunists like Majette and Davis; 
dangerous extreme rightists like former cockroach exterminator [Tom] 
DeLay and former sportscaster J. D. Hayworth of Arizona; pitiful 
morons like Florida's former Secretary of State and chief election rig- 
ger Katherine Harris; Republican moles and sleepers like Zell Miller 
and Joe Lieberman; and Democratic spineless amoebas like Richard 
Gephardt and Tom Daschle. They will stand ready to back Bush's mil- 
itary campaigns into Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Colombia, or wherever 
Bush's economic interests are at stake. The country stands on the 
brink of disaster. But we cannot count on the future Congress to save 
us. Lacking a spine or any guts, it will surely help to bury us. 14 

Cynthia McKinney's loss did not remove her spirit, nor did it remove her from 
the public consciousness. Since the primary elections and the devastating perform- 
ance of the Democratic Party in what I believe were rigged general elections the 
following November, McKinney has absorbed and redirected the energies directed 
at her — like a lightning rod. She is a skilled organizer and a veteran advisor for 
alliances that waited patiently for the Empire to stumble, as it did over its criminal 
representation of the threat posed by Iraq. Throughout 2003 and 2004 she 
remained one of the most sought-after speakers on the planet. And she will be back. 

In May of 2002, after the public relations damage had been done, McKinney 
received her vindication as news of the Phoenix and Minneapolis FBI investiga- 
tions became public. It was too late to make a difference in her campaign. Her 
comments then were, I believe, prophetic. 



Silencing Congress 279 



If committed and patriotic people had not been pushing for disclo- 
sure, today's revelations would have been hidden by the White House. 
Ever since I came to Congress in 1992, there are those who have been 
trying to silence my voice. I've been told to 'sit down and shut up' 
over and over again. Well I won't sit down and I won't shut up until 
the full and unvarnished truth is placed before the American people. 15 

Paul Wellstone 

If Cynthia McKinney was loudmouthed and pushy, then Paul Wellstone was ten times 
worse. That might be why George Bush Sr. once referred to him as a "chickenshit." 

I am convinced that Paul Wellstone was murdered. The following two FTW 
stories explain why. There is a lingering question as to why the American press 
never picked up on the fact that one of the victims of that tragedy had a direct 
connection to the so-called 20 th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui. Here are excerpts of 
what FTW published on the crash which took his life. 

Was Paul Wellstone Murdered? 

• History Suggests It 

• Crash Inconsistencies Suggest It 

• Many, Including Some Members of Congress, Believe It 

by 

Michael C. Ruppert 

Nov. 1, 2002, 15:00 PST (FTW) — The air crash deaths of Sen. Paul 
Wellstone, his wife, daughter, three staff members, and two pilots at 
approximately 10:25 a.m. on October 25 in Eveleth, Minnesota have 
given rise to the widespread belief — shared by at least two members 
of the House of Representatives who spoke on condition of anonymi- 
ty — that the crash was a murder. 

Almost as important as the known details of the crash, which often 
contradict mainstream press reports, is the fact that the belief is so 
widely held. It says something about America that cannot and should 
not be ignored. 

A HISTORY TOO FULL OF COINCIDENCES 

From a historical standpoint Democrats are twice as likely to die in air 
crashes as Republicans. Frequently, those who have died were known 
to have been either involved in the investigation of covert operations 
or to have taken highly controversial positions in opposition to vest- 
ed government interests. 

Sam Smith of the Progressive Review (<www.prorev.com>) pub- 
lished an October 25 story titled "Politicians Killed In Plane Crashes." 



280 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



For his source he used a wonderful database found at <http://politi- 
calgraveyard.com>. Of 22 air crashes involving state and federal 
officials, including one ambassador (Arnold Raphael) and one cab- 
inet official (Ron Brown), FTW found that 14 (64 percent) were 
members of the Democratic Party and 8 (36 percent) were mem- 
bers of the Republican Party. If the list was limited to only elected 
members of Congress, the total was eight Democrats and four 
Republicans.... 

THE WELLSTONE CRASH 

Perhaps no member of the Senate ranked higher on the Bush admin- 
istration's enemies list than Minnesota Democrat Paul Wellstone. And 
the enmity goes back years to when Bush's father was president. The 
November 4 issue of TIME recounts an encounter between Wellstone 
and the elder Bush after which he referred to Wellstone as "this chick- 
enshit." And it is known that there has been at least one prior reported 
attempt on Wellstone's life. 

In the months before his death Wellstone had voted against sever- 
al key Bush agendas including Homeland Security, the Iraqi use of force 
resolution, and many of Bush's judicial nominees. In a Senate controlled 
50-49 by the Democrats, Wellstone was perhaps the biggest one-man 
obstacle to Bush's fervent and stated desire to secure passage of the 
Homeland Security measure prior to a US invasion of Iraq... 

So what happened to Paul Wellstone? 

A check of more than 50 of the world's leading news organizations 
three days after the Wellstone crash left one clear impression: the crash 
had been caused by "freezing rain and snow," limited visibility, and 
likely icing of the wings. One CNN report on October 24 described 
the plane as flying in "snowy, frozen rain." 

None of these conditions, which did not exist as just described, 
had anything to do with the crash. 

Icing can be ruled out for a number of reasons. First, as reported 
in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on October 29, "Another pilot who land- 
ed a slightly larger twin engine plane at the airport on Friday, a couple 
of hours before Wellstone's plane crashed, said in an interview that he 
experienced no significant problems. 

"Veteran pilot Ray Juntunen said there was very light ice, 'but 
nothing to be alarmed about. It shouldn't have been a problem.' 

"He said he ran into moderate icing conditions at 10,000 feet and 
requested permission to drop to 5,000. At that altitude, he had only 
light icing. When he dropped to 3,400 feet, to begin his approach, 'the 
ice slid off the windshield,' he said. 



Silencing Congress 281 



"According to the NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board], 
Wellstone's pilots received warnings of icing at 9,000 to 11,000 feet 
and were allowed to descend to 4,000 feet. Juntunen said he was able 
to see the airport from five miles out, and another pilot landed a half- 
hour later and told him the clouds were a little lower, but still not 
bad." 

Various local press reports state that the weather conditions at the 
time of the crash were overcast, with visibility of three miles and a 
ceiling of 700 feet. 

An argument that the weather worsened immediately after these 
two pilots landed and before Wellstone crashed is belied by the fact 
that a contemporaneous Doppler weather radar map of the region 
obtained by FTW from the National Weather Service shows no major 
storm activity and the same basic conditions as reported previously. 

To further clarify this, FTW interviewed a retired commercial air- 
line pilot who still maintains full current FAA certifications. The 
pilot, who asked not to be identified by name, provided FTW with 
copies of his pilot's license, his current FAA medical certificate, and his 
gold membership card in the Airline Pilot's Association. 

Upon reviewing the radar map he stated that there was nothing 
inherently dangerous in what he saw depending upon what additional 
conditions might be prevalent at the time, like ceiling and visibility. 
When advised that the reported visibility was three miles with a ceiling 
of 700 feet he stated, "That shouldn't be any problem, especially if you 
have planes taking off right before and even at the time of the crash." 

In various press reports the King Air was described as a powerful 
aircraft, and that de-icing equipment was standard. 

And The Pioneer Press reported on October 26 that Gary Ulman, 
the assistant manager of the Eveleth- Virginia Municipal Airport, 
"jumped into his own private plane and took off in search of the miss- 
ing aircraft" after noting Wellstone's delayed arrival. Therefore, the 
icing conditions could not have been a contributing factor in the 
crash, or else the airport manager would not have taken off. 

What has been disclosed by various local press sources, including 
stories in the October 28 and 29 Pioneer Press, is the following: 

• The plane, although it was required to have only one, had two fully 
licensed commercial pilots. The lead pilot had 5,200 hours of fly- 
ing time and the highest possible certification. No physical problems 
had been reported with either pilot; 

• The plane was not required to and did not have either a flight data 
recorder or a cockpit voice recorder; 



282 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



• Wellstone's plane had notified the Federal Aviation Administration 
(FAA) that it was on approach to the airport and had activated the 
runway lights; 

• The time from the last radio contact with the FAA when every- 
thing was normal until the crash was approximately 60 seconds; 

• The pilots — as is standard procedure for unmanned airports — 
had sent a radio signal from their airplane to equipment at the 
airport which turned on the runway lights and activated a direc- 
tional beacon that would align the plane with the runway. [Note: 
The Eveleth airport was not equipped with a more sophisticated 
remotely activated instrument landing system that would have pro- 
vided feedback to the pilots on speed, rate of descent and above 
ground altitude] ; 

• The FAA found that "an airport landing beacon, owned and main- 
tained by the state ...[was] out of tolerance Saturday and was retesting 
Sunday." This was later confirmed by the acting chairwoman of the 
NTSB, Carol Carmody [Note: According to the NTSB website, 
Carmody formerly worked for the Central Intelligence Agency]; 

• The runway selected ran directly east to west and Wellstone's plane 
was on final approach from the east; 

• According to FAA records as reported October 29 in the Workers' 
Daily, at 10:19 a.m. at an altitude of 3,500 feet the plane began to 
drift away from the runway toward the south; 

• According to the same source, the plane was last sighted at 10:21 
a.m. flying at 1,800 feet; 

• Paul Wellstone's plane was found approximately two miles south of the 
eastern half of the runway, facing south. [Early press reports placed the 
crash site at between 2-7 miles east of the runway. Subsequent television 
reports, accompanied by maps, placed the crash site at this location. 
FTW is continuing to investigate the exact location of the crash site.]; 

• The propellers were turning at the time of the crash; 

• The angle of impact was 30 degrees (extremely steep), indicating 
the plane was out of control; 

• The wing flaps, which should have been fully extended for landing, 
were only extended to 1 5 degrees (a setting used for initial approach 
descent); 

• The plane had been traveling at approximately 85 knots. 

One quotation from the Pioneer Press is interesting. "Radar tapes 
indicate the plane had descended to about 400 feet and was traveling at 
only 85 knots near the end of its flight. It then turned south, dove at an 
unusually steep angle and crashed." 



Silencing Congress 283 



Aside from the aircraft's sudden change in direction and the set- 
ting of the flaps, the airspeed is perhaps the most intriguing known 
element in the crash. A number of factors, if the data which had been 
released by the NTSB is to be believed, indicate that the Wellstone 
plane stalled just before crashing. A stall usually occurs when an air- 
craft's nose is raised too steeply for the throttle setting of the engine. 

One account of a King Air's stall characteristics can be found at <http:// 
www.ainonline.com/Features/Pilotreports2000/AIN_pr_kingair.html.> 

This text described a case where the stall warning horn (an alert 
that warns if airspeed is too low) was activated under landing condi- 
tions (gear down with full flaps) at 85 knots. It is intentionally loud, 
distracting, and unmistakable. The account stated that the actual stall 
did not occur until the aircraft being tested reached 69 knots. That's 
1 6 knots slower than what was reported. 

Other factors like the plane's total weight and center of gravity 
might have changed these outcomes. The FAA lists the standard 
approach speed for a King Air B 100 (the type carrying Wellstone) as 
111 knots. Therefore the crash speed was significantly below the rec- 
ommended approach speed, which is generally estimated at 1.3 times 
the manufacturer's listed stall speed. 

The fact that the plane's flaps were extended only 1 5 degrees would 
have raised the stall speed. 

SPECULATION 

This writer has spoken to several pilots who have flown high-risk 
covert missions for the CIA or the Department of Defense. One of 
them related to me that it would be easy to cause an aircraft to fly 
right into the ground by recalibrating the airport's IFR approach equip- 
ment and resetting the altitude (in fact, such a scenario was used in 
the fictional movie Die Hard IT). 

But the Eveleth airport was equipped with only a directional bea- 
con to line the plane up with the runway. It has already been established 
that this equipment was not "properly calibrated" and yet there are no 
reports of any deviations by either of the two pilots who landed safe- 
ly shortly before the crash. That might have been what caused 
Wellstone's plane to veer off to the south. 

Mechanical sabotage of flight controls that would only be trig- 
gered under certain conditions or an incapacitating gas might also 
offer explanations as to why a stall warning horn was not responded 
to. King Airs have pressurized cabins. 

There are many questions, but the circumstances of the crash, as 
known thus far, do not lead to conclusions of pilot error, mechanical 



284 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

failure or bad weather. What does that leave? It leaves us with three 
dead Democratic senatorial candidates (Litton — 1 976, Carnahan — 
2000, and Wellstone — 2002) who all died in small private airplanes 
just days before critical elections. 

ARGUING WITH BLITZER OVER THE DEATH 
OF A KNOWN TARGET 

Many experienced Internet researchers, especially post-9/11, under- 
stand the importance of immediately securing local press reports and 
eyewitness statements to pivotal events in the moments after they 
occur. Several keen observers were able to transcribe the following live 
dialogue between an on-the-scene reporter and CNN's Wolf Blitzer. 

Reporter: There is no evidence that weather had anything to do 
with the crash. 

Blitzer: But the plane was flying into some sort of ice storm, was 
it not? 

Reporter: There is no evidence that the weather had anything to 
do with the crash. 

According to these observers CNN immediately cut away from 
the on-scene reporter who was not heard from again. Other watch- 
ers noted a crawl along the bottom of the screen, which, they said, 
ran only one time, "Weather not a factor in crash." 

Yet the stories currently posted on the CNN site still suggest that 
the crash was caused by bad weather and icing. 

Paul Wellstone had been a target of an assassin once before. He was 
a strident opponent of Plan Colombia, a US military aid package which 
involves massive aerial spraying of lands believed to be growing cocaine 
and the use of private military contractors employed by companies like 
DynCorp. Wellstone had traveled to Colombia to evaluate the program. 

Shortly after his arrival on December 1 , 2000, as reported by a num- 
ber of news sources including the AP, a bomb was found along his route 
from the airport. Although the State Department later downplayed the 
incident, the general opinion was, and remains, that as an outspoken 
critic of CIA and covert operations, Wellstone had indeed been a target. 

Those suspicions gained credibility the next day when Wellstone 
and his staff were sprayed with glyphosate, a chemical that has been 
routinely documented as the cause of a variety of illnesses in the local 
population. It has left certain regions of Colombia, as one native put 
it, "Without butterflies or birds." 

One anonymous author, using the pen name Voxfux, actually 
predicted Wellstone's assassination in spring 2001. The story can be read 
at <www.voxnyc.com.> In that missive the author predicted, "If the 



Silencing Congress 285 



death occurs just prior to the midterm senatorial elections, expect it to 
be in a state with a close race. Expect a 'Mel Carnahan' style hit." 

INSIDE SOURCES 

FTW was able to receive comments on the crash from two Democratic 
members of the House of Representatives. Both, who spoke on con- 
dition of anonymity, stated that they believed that Wellstone had been 
murdered. 

One said, "I don't think there's anyone on the Hill who doesn't 
suspect it. It's too convenient, too coincidental, too damned obvious. 
My guess is that some of the less courageous members of the party are 
thinking about becoming Republicans right now." 

It is a rare occurrence when this writer refers to a quotation from 
an unnamed CIA source. I have demonstrated in at least four inter- 
views with the staffs of both the Senate and House Intelligence 
committees established that I know sources who have worked for the 
CIA in some very nasty covert operations. 

The day after the crash I received a message from a former CIA 
operative who has proven extremely reliable in the past and who is 
personally familiar with these kinds of assassinations. The message 
read, "As I said earlier, having played ball (and still playing in some 
respects) with this current crop of reinvigorated old white men, these 
clowns are nobody to screw around with. There will be a few more 
strategic accidents. You can be certain of that." 

Quo Vadis? 16 

Dissatisfied with what was being disclosed in the press, we continued our inves- 
tigation of Wellstone's death as our resources permitted. In the weeks that followed, 
we unearthed information that led me to suspect that the directional beacon's 
"miscalibration" had been only a part of the crime. What seemed clear, as we 
reached the end of our investigative string, was that something had caused every- 
thing in the airplane to turn off all at once, and the plane had stalled too close to 
the ground to recover. That is a perfect description of what the Pentagon's 
Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapons are designed to do. We stayed on the story. 

Wellstone Updates: FAA, FBI, Local Officials Evasive on Key Details 
New Data Confirms Weather Not a Factor in Crash 
Co-Pilot Knew Zacarias Moussaoui 

by 

Joe Taglieri and Michael C. Ruppert 



November 27, 2002, 20:00 PST (FTW) [Updated Jan. 21, 2003] — 
The National Transportation Safety Board has said the investigation 



286 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

into the October 25 air disaster that killed Senator Paul Wellstone, his 
wife, daughter, three campaign staffers, and two pilots could take six 
months. In the meantime, as icy weather is trumpeted throughout the 
news media as the leading suspected cause, the following is a list of 
information about the crash that is known at this time. This report is 
an update of known information developed through FTW's investiga- 
tion in advance of the NTSB's report on the crash. 

FLIGHT'S FINAL MOMENTS 

Citing NTSB chief Carol Carmody who referred to "air traffic control 
records," an October 27 New York Times story recounted the plane's 
final flight: "It took off at 9:37 a.m. from Minneapolis-St. Paul and at 
9:48 was issued instructions to climb to 13,000 feet. At 10:01, air traf- 
fic control issued a clearance to land at Eveleth, and the pilot was 
given permission to descend to 4,000 feet. The pilot was also told that 
there was icing from 9,000 to 11,000 feet. At 10:10, the pilot began 
his descent. At 10:18, he was cleared for an east-west approach to the 
runway, and, according to radar, the plane was lined up with the run- 
way. 

'"That was the last transmission conversation with the pilot,'" Ms. 
Carmody, a former CIA employee, said. 

'"Everything had been completely normal up until that time, and 
there was no evidence on the controller's part or from the pilot's voice that 
there was any difficulty, no reported problems, no expressed concern.'" 

"At 10:19, according to radar, the plane was descending through 
3,500 feet and began to drift southward, away from the runway. Two 
minutes later, radar recorded the last sighting of the plane at 1,800 
feet and a speed of 85 knots just northeast of the accident site. 

'"We don't know why the turn was occurring,' Ms. Carmody said. 
'That's what we hope to find out.'" 

A pilot who works at the airport discovered the crash site from the 
air at approximately 1 1 a.m., when he saw a cloud of "bluish gray" 
smoke rising from the ground. At that point he notified the control 
tower at the Duluth airport 60 miles away. The Duluth tower covers 
Eveleth, and it gave the Wellstone aircraft clearance to begin a landing 
approach at 10:18. This was the pilots' last radio communication, 
about two minutes later. 

Local fire and rescue personnel arrived at the scene shortly there- 
after, said Steve Shykes, the nearby town of Fayal's volunteer fire chief 
who was in charge of fire and ambulance personnel at the scene. 

Shykes said he arrived at 1 1 :45 that morning to set up his com- 
mand post on the road about a half mile from the crash site. 



Silencing Congress 287 



CRASH SITE 

The wreckage was found 2.1 miles southeast of the east end of 
Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport's (EVM) Runway 27, which is 3 
miles southeast of Eveleth, Minnesota. The site's swampy, wooded 
terrain is 30 yards north of Bodas Road, according to a police and fire 
dispatcher who was at the site. Rescue workers had to use all-terrain 
vehicles equipped with tracks to access the downed aircraft. In some 
areas of the site, the mud was waist-deep. 

According to investigators and photographs, the wings and tail 
section broke off as the plane descended into the trees at a steep 25- 
degree angle and a slow airspeed of 85 knots, compared to the normal 
1 15-knot approach speed. ... 

Press accounts reported that after impact, a massive fire consumed 
the rest of the plane, which was facing south, away from the east-west 
runway. This resulted in the near total disintegration of the fuselage 
and severe damage to the victims' bodies. 

FTW has obtained two Associated Press photos of the crash site. No 
evidence of fire, charring, or smoke damage was visible on the wreckage 
shown in those photographs. 

INVESTIGATORS 

According to Frank Hilldrup and Paul Schlamm of the NTSB, the 
investigation is in the analytical phase. No conclusions will be drawn 
and a report will not be issued for several months. 

Dr. Thomas Uncini, St. Louis County medical examiner, deter- 
mined both pilots died from impact, not smoke inhalation, health 
issues such as a heart attack or stroke, nor a gunshot wound. The doc- 
tor told reporters he looked for gunshot wounds on all eight victims 
and found none. 

Uncini could not be reached for comment, but according to the 
St. Paul Pioneer Press on November 2 1 , he listed the cause of death for 
all eight victims as 'traumatic injury due to, or as a consequence of, an 
aviation crash with fire.' 

The day of the crash, local fire and police investigators said per- 
sonnel from their departments were on the scene shortly after 1 1 . 

Then in the afternoon between noon and 2 p.m., FBI agents from 
the Duluth and Bemiji office arrived at the crash site, according to 
Paul McCabe, a special agent and spokesman for the FBI office in 
Minneapolis. At approximately 3 o'clock, McCabe said, agents from 
Minneapolis arrived. 

Throughout the afternoon, the FBI's Evidence Recovery Team 
searched the crash site for indications that foul play might have been 



288 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

involved. Agents found no evidence to warrant a criminal investiga- 
tion, "pretty early on," said McCabe, and the NTSB took the lead on 
the investigation that evening when Carmody and her team arrived at 
about 8 p.m. 

There are many unresolved questions as to the points of origin and 
assignments of the first FBI agents at the scene. Special agents from 
the Minneapolis office are known to have been at the scene approxi- 
mately 2.5 hours after the crash, but the exact time of their arrival is 
a question that neither the FBI or incident commanders at the scene 
seem able to answer definitively. 

McCabe's explanation contradicts reporter Christopher Bollyn of 
the American Free Press, who said he spoke to a female employee of the 
FBI Duluth office who said agents from Minneapolis — not Duluth 
— were the first to arrive at the crash site. 

And Bollyn quoted St. Louis County Sheriff Rick Wahlberg as say- 
ing that he first saw FBI agents at the crash site 'early in the afternoon, 
about noon.' 

When FTW contacted Wahlberg, he said he arrived at the crash 
site "around 1:30" and saw that FBI agents from Minneapolis who he 
knows personally were already on the scene. Minneapolis is about 175 
miles from Eveleth, and driving time between the two cities is about 
2.5 hours, according to local residents familiar with the route — a 
large portion of which is two-lane highway. 

McCabe said agents from Duluth and Bemiji could have easily 
responded to the scene around noon, but he wasn't sure of agents' 
exact arrival times. When asked if logs were kept with such arrival 
times, McCabe said, "We don't really keep log time, per se, like that 
.... Like when I write reports on whatever investigation I do, you don't 
put times in there. It's a day, it shows the investigation was conducted 
on such-and-such a day." 

Lt. Tim Harkenen of the St. Louis County Sheriffs Department 
was the law enforcement incident commander at the scene. Harkenen 
said on November 25 he would retrieve his files and look up the 
logged arrival times of various personnel who were at the crash site, 
but since that initial contact, he has not taken or returned FTW's calls. 

FTW&ho requested from the FAA the maintenance and certifica- 
tion "337" documents for the aircraft in question. The order for a 
Federal Express overnight shipment was placed November 13 with 
the administration's Aircraft Registration Branch in Oklahoma City, 
but as of this story's publication, no documents have been delivered. 
Calls to the FAA have failed to yield an explanation as to why the 
documents have not arrived as promised. FAA form 337's are public 



Silencing Congress 289 



records and by law must be made available to anyone who requests 
them. 

WITNESSES 

Gary Ulman, who co-owns Taconite Aviation based out of the Eveleth 
airport, took his plane up after receiving word from the Duluth tower 
that the Wellstone plane failed to land on EVM's Runway 27. 

"Approach called up here to me on the telephone and asked if the 
airplane was on the ground. And I told them no, it wasn't," said 
Ulman. When he went outside to double check the tarmac, he phoned 
the Duluth tower back to confirm that the Wellstone plane had not 
landed. The controller called rescue personnel, said Ulman, and he 
took his plane up to search for the missing flight. 

Ulman and other local pilots who flew into Eveleth's airport that day 
said icing was not at a dangerous level and have characterized the weath- 
er conditions at the time of the crash as not dangerous flying weather. 

"I don't think icing had an effect," said Ulman, who took his plane 
up twice after the crash — first to find the wreckage, then with Chief 
Shykes to help direct the fire and rescue personnel to the site. 

Local residents Rodney Allen, Megen Hill, and Kim Hill were 
reported to have seen or heard the plane as it flew over their homes 
moments before it crashed. 

THE AIRCRAFT 

The Beech King Air A- 100 was built in 1979 and seated eight pas- 
sengers and two pilots, though only one pilot was required for standard 
operation. Wellstone traveled with two pilots as a safety precaution. 
The plane was a Pratt/Whitney dual engine turbo-prop, registered as 
N41BE, serial no. B-245.... 

The King Air is very widely used for charter services. It has a fatal 
accident rate 25 percent lower than all privately owned and chartered 
turbo props, according to the Associated Press citing Robert Breiling, 
a Florida-based aviation consultant who studies business aviation acci- 
dent rates.... 

WEATHER CONDITIONS 

Automated instruments at the Eveleth airport at 10:14 a.m. CDT indi- 
cated the wind was calm and the visibility was three miles in light snow. 
There were scattered clouds at 400 feet and overcast skies at 700 feet. 

The temperature was 33 Fahrenheit, and the dew point was 32 
Fahrenheit. 

The altimeter, which measures a plane's height based on baromet- 
ric pressure, was at 30.06 inches of mercury. 



290 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



EVELETH-VIRGINIA MUNICIPAL AIRPORT 

The airport has no control tower and is equipped with a VOR/DME 
landing guidance system. The minimum altitude for a landing 
approach is 371 feet from less than 2 miles out. If a pilot does not 
have visual sight of the runway at this altitude, he or she is required to 
call in a 'missed approach and go around the airport for another land- 
ing attempt. 

In the case of this crash, there is no reason to doubt that the pilots 
could see the runway, because the cloud ceiling was 700 feet. Ulman also 
doubted a missed approach was happening, because there was no contact 
from the pilots indicating this. 

PILOTS 

Richard Conry, an experienced pilot with more than 5,000 hours of 
flying time, was the doomed flight's captain. Conry, 55, had report- 
edly flown into the Eveleth airport many times prior to October 25, 
and Wellstone often requested Conry. 

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Conry served federal 
time because of a 1990 conviction for mail fraud, and he apparently 
exaggerated his level of experience flying large passenger aircraft for 
the airline American Eagle before being hired to fly Executive Aviation 
charters. 

It has also been reported that Conry worked as dialysis nurse, and 
he completed a shift at a Minneapolis hospital at 9 o'clock the night 
before his scheduled flight with Wellstone on the morning of October 
25. 

Michael Guess, 30, had 650 hours of flying time and was employed 
as a pilot by Executive Aviation in April 2001. 

Moussaoui 

In a chilling footnote, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on October 26 th that 
Guess had performed administrative work at the Pan Am Flight School in 
Minneapolis where Zacarias Moussaoui had been taking flight lessons. 17 Not only 
had Guess and Moussaoui known each other, but Guess had 'inadvertently given 
Moussaoui access to a computer program on flying a 747 jumbo jet.' The FBI 
later found the proprietary program copied on his laptop computer — the one 
which Supervisory Special Agent David Frasca had prevented the Minneapolis 
field agents from searching. 18 



CHAPTER 



Vreeland II: Silencing Me 

I believe that, from the information I have seen, "Mike" Vreeland tried 
to pass information to the Canadian government that should have 
been passed to the US government. That information had to do with 
the attacks of September 1 1 . Whatever other attempts were made by 
Vreeland and his attorneys to alert US and Canadian officials of the 
attacks, it is clear that he did pass information about the pending 
attacks to his guards in August. I am willing to go to the Secretary of 
the Navy to determine whether or not he was actually a Navy officer. 

I know that there have been other US citizens with a similar back- 
ground used on missions similar to what has been alleged by Vreeland. 
This man fits a pattern. I would like for the Secret Service to put him 
on a polygraph. 

— Leutrell "Mike" Osborne, veteran former CIA case officer with 
26 years of experience in counter-terrorism. 

In some tough investigations when leads are sparse there are times when it 
becomes necessary for a detective to "shake the trees" and see what falls out. 
Rarely do the reactions of the suspect focus on the detective personally. When they 
do, however, the repercussions are always serious, sometimes even life threatening. 

During 2002, FTW's investigations were beginning to resonate with some 
influential people. It was inevitable, and I knew it, that attempts would be made 
to diminish our effectiveness on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. 

Bill Tyree had been absolutely right; Delmart "Mike" Vreeland was a "honey 
pot" — an intelligence asset who is sent out with material that proves to be legit- 
imate but which subsequently turns on any bear that sticks his nose too close. The 
difference with Vreeland was that he did not become a honey pot until I decided 
to report on his case. He needed something to trade with those who were trying 
to silence him. Up until that time he had been like the other men described in 
Chapter 10, a guy who had exceeded his warrant, gotten too careless, or too cocky, 
or who had come to possess information that was way above his "pay grade." He 

291 



292 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



was in fear for his life, and when I showed up he saw something that might buy 
his way into another round in the game. That was and is Mike Vreeland's ultimate 
addiction — if he is still alive. 

I knew that Vreeland was going to try to discredit me almost immediately after 
Greta Knutzen and I traveled to the Peterborough jail outside of Toronto to inter- 
view him on March 6, 2002. Greta had become invaluable over time as she suffered 
through many frustrating encounters with Vreeland and painstakingly document- 
ed new developments in his case. 

Vreeland was the subject of many conversations I had with Leutrell "Mike" 
Osborne, who also gave me a written, on-the-record statement about the case. 
Osborne had been a CIA counter-terrorist case officer for 26 years, and the only 
African-American case officer to have served in that capacity. "He's a dangle," 
Osborne kept saying. "I know, Mike, I know," I would respond. "But I have to keep 
him out of the hole and keep him talking about the note." A "dangle" in intelli- 
gence parlance is the same thing as piece of bait in a trap. Leu was telling me that 
I had taken the bait, and I was telling Leu that I knew it was bait when I took it. 

So, if I knew that Vreeland was going to be used to discredit me, why did I report 
on him? That answer is simple. I did it because I knew, and his attorneys knew, and 
the record clearly showed that he had written a warning note, specifically about 
9/11, a month before 9/11, and he had been chillingly accurate, not only in many 
of the big details, but also in some of the subtler nuances about oil and Russian 
organized crime. He had accurately told officials of the Canadian government that 
one of their operatives, Marc Bastien, had been murdered in Moscow and exactly 
how it had been done before those facts were acknowledged or even known in 
Ottawa. As Vreeland's attorney Rocco Galati pointed out later, "When have you 
ever heard of a case of a Canadian government employee being murdered in a for- 
eign capital and his government never follows up on it?" There was more to learn. 

I have never dealt with a bigger pain in the ass in my entire life than Mike 
Vreeland. He was admittedly an alcoholic. He also abused prescription medications 
and, I suspect, packed his nose from time to time with cocaine, called in the trade 
"Peruvian marching powder." I never saw him with any. He was not the first alky 
or addict I have known in the business. Vreeland also had a temper that was about 
as controllable as a first-generation Russian nuclear submarine reactor, and he could 
turn a tiny pimple of a problem or dispute into a gangrenous limb in need of ampu- 
tation. He could piss off a dead man. This was how he did me the most damage. 

On the very remote possibility that Vreeland did not deliberately try to dis- 
credit me, his handlers must have been laughing themselves silly knowing what I 
would have to deal with. 

As people around the world read Vreeland stories they reached out to him. 
Released on bail in March 2002, after all Canadian charges against him had been 
dropped, he was granted temporary asylum until his extradition hearings in 
September of 2002. He was quickly online with at least one website and probably 



Vreeland II: Silencing Me 293 



20 e-mail addresses as hundreds of discussion groups and scores of pro and con 
websites briefly turned him into a 9/ 1 1 icon. And his computer skills, now that he 
had access to a computer, were truly amazing. 

Vreeland started to contradict himself with many of these people and with state- 
ments he had made to me in an interview that I had published in April. But he never 
changed his story about the note. Nothing could change the record on the note, and 
this was the only place I had ever hung my journalistic hat in this matter. But soon 
bits and pieces of his criminal record started conveniently appearing in the hands of 
people who were unable to post anything under their own names. Some of the infor- 
mation contradicted what he had told me and also, apparently, what he had told his 
attorneys. Of course that proved nothing; we have seen how easily criminal and mil- 
itary records can be manipulated by the government. But it didn't help me. 

One very interesting bit of history did turn up. It seems that in February 2000 
a drunken Mike Vreeland was arrested by the Mishawaka, Indiana, police depart- 
ment for burglary, auto theft, and a particularly nasty assault on several officers 
and a police car. Having been a police officer I know that very close attention is 
paid to people who assault and cause injuries to cops. Yet in a very small town, 
where news of these events travels quick, like dye in a glass of water, Vreeland, who 
had given at least four different names to the police, was later released without 
identification and allowed to walk out of jail without even a hearing. 1 At the time, 
according to him, he was just about to embark on his mission to Russia, and 
strings were clearly pulled to get him out of jail. The police report chalked it up 
to a paperwork error. This fits our pattern perfectly. 

When people started asking Vreeland about the many arrests that they felt were 
not becoming for an officer and a gentleman, and when some of his family mem- 
bers, not very credible themselves, utterly inconsistent and sometimes apparently 
as intoxicated as he was, started throwing gasoline on the fire, Vreeland lashed out 
with a particularly nasty brand of invective. His critics responded in kind. He 
tape-recorded every phone conversation. His threats against any who offended 
him were as numerous as locusts. Vreeland had attracted all kinds: a few serious 
researchers who focused on the critical details; lonely women who wanted to fall 
in love or rescue him; utterly naive and gullible "wannabes" who could never get 
past the dear old notion that covert operatives were to be sexy, urbane, articulate 
gentlemen; and, undoubtedly, a large cadre of CIA/Pentagon-connected psycho- 
logical operations personnel. 

When Vreeland pissed people off they immediately turned on me, especially if 
they had been naive enough to buy into his disinformation. It was only because of 
me, they said, that they had reached out to him. Most of the offended ones who were 
not connected to government operations were oblivious to their own unresolved 
issues. People like that are not hard to find, and they are very easy to manipulate. 
All told, I received probably 2,000 very unpleasant e-mails from these people 
throughout 2002. 



294 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



I knew exactly what he was doing, and he knew that I knew. The unspoken deal 
between us was that I was going to let him try to trash me by feeding me bad infor- 
mation so that he could uphold his end of his deal with his handlers and maybe 
get out of Canada alive. It was a chess game that only John Le Carre might under- 
stand. Vreeland was one of "Smiley s people" who had been inbred for way too 
many generations. I steadfastly held to my one interest: the only thing that mat- 
tered was how he had learned about 9/11, and the fact that his note and the 
irrefutable records of two Canadian lawyers and a court proceeding might some- 
day become 9/11's biggest smoking gun. 

After I published the first stories that brought Vreeland to world attention he 
started referring to me as me "Pops" and he called me three to five times a day. He 
followed those with five or six e-mails. He constantly fed me disinformation about 
red mercury, space-based missile-defense shields, China, Saddam Hussein, the 
Kursk (a sunken Russian nuclear submarine), the death of US Navy Admiral 
Jeremy Boorda, and a hundred other things. Over time he learned that I wouldn't 
bite on any of them. But there was to be a final irony, in his claims of having 
helped create an impenetrable missile defense shield that had been perfected by the 
Russians. 

I understood his predicament. Like so many of the other men I had known in 
similar positions, he had run afoul of his keepers. A young, street-wise, undisci- 
plined, and ignorant young man had evolved from his early days as a police 
informant to become a skilled government operative who had, over the years, been 
arrested many times and always found himself sharing a cell with a major criminal 
or intelligence target with whom he quickly became "friends." Then he joined the 
navy. He had become a criminal in order to work with criminals. This has never 
disqualified anyone from service as a covert operative. It is, rather, a prized job 
skill. Vreeland's conduct over the years shows what happens when so much license 
is given to an over-bright, undereducated street kid, who never developed enough 
social consciousness or a moral compass to separate his own life from the world in 
which he operated. His navy rank of Lieutenant had been nothing more than a 
reason for him to be at certain places and to access certain information. 

I could see his hatred of the hypocrisy of the system that had created him and 
used him in every sip of rum and coke. I could hear it with every rattle of the ice 
in his glass and discern it in every one of the thousands of e-mails he sent out to 
his attackers and to his supporters alike. Yet because he possessed so many secrets 
and had developed his tradecraft so well, he had hidden the necessary evidence of 
his covert life as insurance policies in places where it could serve him. This was his 
game, and he was an excellent survivor. He was an intelligence junkyard dog, and 
the black world had given him a leash that allowed him to run out and do things 
that civilians could never do. Yet even the owners of junkyard dogs are careful 
about how they approach them. What Mike Vreeland ultimately revealed himself 
to be was a con-wise snitch, a street-wise intelligence courier, and a killer. 



Vreeland II: Silencing Me 295 



Not everything that Vreeland put out was disinformation. A disinformation 
source that releases nothing but disinformation soon has no audience and is use- 
less. Vreeland had other cards to play, and he wanted the powers that be to know 
he had them. 

On July 8, 2002, I participated in a five-way satellite, secure network phone 
conversation with Mike Vreeland, journalist Sander Hicks, former Ambassador 
Leo Wanta, and former Assistant United States Attorney Tom Henry who was act- 
ing as Wanta's lawyer. The subject was Vreeland's exposure of credible documents 
showing that trillions of dollars had been stolen out of the United States Treasury 
over a period of years and that some of the biggest names in American politics had 
been involved. These included the Bushes, the Clintons, Federal Reserve Chairman 
Alan Greenspan, and the heads of many major banks and government agencies. 
What I didn't catch until much later was that the documents posted on the web 
by Vreeland were the same ones that had been sent to me in November 2001 by 
Steven Tangherlini before I had ever met Vreeland. (See Appendix B and Chapter 11.) 

It is absolutely correct that more than $3 trillion is currently missing from the 
US Treasury, and this has been reported by CBS News, the Washington Times, and other 
news oudets. The Pentagon and the Department of Housing and Urban Development 
have admitted as much. Vreeland had brought forward more than 100 credible 
pages of banking transaction records and was acting as a go-between for Wanta, 
who was trying to expose the thefts and recover the money — for a fee, of course. 

Wanta, a former high-roller in the Bush I, Regan, and Clinton eras, had suffered 
the same fate as all the rest of the men in Chapter 1 1 . He had been arrested on state 
income tax charges in Wisconsin and sentenced to imprisonment for decades for 
misdemeanor violations. Later, due to poor health, he had been confined to his 
home. His net worth had been officially estimated once at more than $400 billion. 
His credentials had been verified through several mainstream press stories and also 
by credible eyewitnesses who credited him with engineering a Russian ruble col- 
lapse which helped bring down the Soviet government in 1991. Hicks was also able 
to confirm Wanta's previous government positions and the fact that he had been 
appointed as Somali Ambassador to Canada as a means of providing him with 
diplomatic immunity. There was no way to say that Wanta had not been a player. 2 

Hicks had also obtained on-the-record statements from navy personnel con- 
firming that Vreeland had held the rank of lieutenant and had been on active duty 
from 1986 until late 2000 before his detention in Canada. 3 

The FINs (financial documents) were discussed at length in the phone con- 
versation with the five of us, and then Vreeland — apparently with Wanta's 
foreknowledge — turned the discussion to Switzerland in 1993. On that trip 
Vreeland had shadowed Wanta to a rendezvous where Vreeland's mission was to 
assassinate Wanta's contact, Marc Rich, who had allegedly crossed Bill Clinton. 
Wanta confirmed all of Vreeland's account, and both men agreed that the reason 
Rich was not killed was because the only shot Vreeland had at Rich was through 



296 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Wanta's head. Vreeland had radioed his handler, asked for direction, and he was 
told to stand down; don't shoot. Former Assistant US Attorney Tom Henry lis- 
tened without comment as his client repeatedly confirmed Vreeland's account. 

Henry wrote a letter addressed to Vreeland on his official stationary dated 
February 13, 2002. (See next page.) It said in part: 

I conversed with one of your attorneys and advised my clients that you 
would be contacting me. When you contacted me I was to ask certain 
questions and be as accurate as possible on reporting your responses. 
I was somewhat familiar with what questions were to be asked. I had 
been privy to various faxes, letters, and other communications sent by 
clients to the White House and other USG agencies over the past three 
or more months. Communications written by my clients referenced 
information similar to the information provided in your hand written 
note. For your and my future conversations they asked that I reference 
certain passwords or security code names and note your response. I 
can assure you that the responses you provided are the same as I have 
seen on correspondence from my clients to the White House, NSA, 
and other USG entities. On best information and belief I am of the 
opinion that my clients would endorse that you gathered the infor- 
mation that you have shared with my client while acting in the 
capacity of an "intel op" agent of the USG. 

I am available to clarify or respond to any questions regarding this 
letter. If you need additional information please do not hesitate con- 
tacting me." 4 

The attempted assassination of Rich intrigued me. It fit my assessment of 
Vreeland's skills and personality. Having once been a manager at what was then the 
largest gun store in the state of California, where I dealt with law enforcement and 
military customers, I asked Vreeland what kind of rifle and scope he had been 
using in 1993. His answer convinced me that he knew what he was talking about. 

He described what is called a special "necked down" rifle and cartridge that is 
custom made. In that process a large caliber casing is specially manufactured to 
shoot a small caliber bullet at extremely high speed, oftentimes over 5,000 feet per 
second. The trajectory of the bullet is extremely flat with little drop due to gravi- 
ty over long ranges. For example a 30.06 cartridge might be necked down to shoot 
a .223 bullet. This, of course, also requires a special, custom-built rifle that can 
chamber the casing but also has a barrel bore that matches the projectile. These are 
not off-the-shelf items, and they are extremely expensive to make. Only those with 
unlimited budgets and the need for pinpoint accuracy can afford to have them 
made. Vreeland's knowledge of scopes was also first rate. I concluded that among 
his other "skills" he was likely also a killer, as I had suspected from our first meet- 
ing. 



Vreeland II: Silencing Me 297 



1HBH7/15360 ZOOZ-02-ie 14:24:08 IGMT1 , page L 

tEI-u-7i TWO ai-.BS fin rtGPBa-.HENnv 412:92;|;s 

THOMAS E. HENRY ^t^T?!**??. 



February 13, 2002 

Mr. "Mike" Vreeland 

Toronto Ontario, Canada 

VI A FACSI Ml l.tv I -388.77 1 -5JC0 



Dear Mr. Vreeland: 



Please be fliHiwi thai I have consulted with clients and ha™ bean aiUhorized to provide iIk 
information outlined in this fctier. Although I am a fomi:r Assistant United Slates AHutney I am no 
longer working in such a capacity. I am not an agent or employee of the United Slates (mwrraticni. 
lhc informal ion contained in this letter is based on best information and belief denied Com 
discussiuro and consullauOD with clients. 



Current clients comis! of corporate entities organized as Ifi United States Code Section 6 (USG 
Proprietary) companies. «n best information and belief I antoflhe opinion dial one or more of the 
individuals associated wih the IS USC 6 compank-s is and/or are employed by the USG and bo or 
iky unplctTKni Iteir duties and tcspoitsibililKS under the Kalional Security Act of I "47. For ilic 
puroosc of this teller and E« reasons orcunfklcnlialiy I will rcfct to the individuals coUccliwlv as 
Jack. 



Approximately iwo weeks ago Jack asked that I contucl Iha Canadian attorney's rcprcseniing you. 
My clients had learned of your bond written note pubUslwt on the internet conccminy i he 9/1 1 
terrorists acts and asked that I attempt to comae! you regarding names, places, dates and other 
apparent "intcl-op" references in the hand written note. I conversed whh one ofyour attorney's and 
advised my clients that you would be contacting me. When jou contacted me I was to ask certain 
questions and be as accurate as possible on reporting your responses. I was sorewhnf laminar wilh 
what questions were lo be asked. 1 had been privy lo various faxes, letters and other connmuiicatfcj™ 
sent by ebons lo the White House and olhcr USG agencies over the pasi three or more nnnihs 
CommunicatioiB written by my clients referenced information similar to the information provided in 
your hand written note. For your and my future conversations they asked that I reference' certain 
passwords or security code names and note your response, [ can assure you that Ihc responses you 
piovkled aie lis saine as i tow scon on corrcrspondcncc ttoiii my clients lo While 1 iouse, NSA and 
utter USO utilities. On best inlbrmalion and bcteri am of tte upiniou that nty clients would endorse 
that ym, gathered Ihc information that you have shared wait nty client while acting in the capachy of 
an •Intel op" agent of ll« LISG. 

J ani avaflabJc lo clarify or respond lo any questions regarding this letter. If you need 
information please do not hesitate coniaeiing nte. 




Not long after the five -way conversation I received a postcard sealed in an enve- 
lope. The envelope had been postmarked in Venice, Italy. On the face of the 
postcard was a print from a European fairy tale, The Queen and the Trolls. The pic- 
ture showed the Queen. The message read, 

Attn to Michael Ruppert Good Work! — To Mr. Vreeland for 
SSST... Change lawyer not in Canada, not in USA is his place — 
Help Him — by Casanova from PIOMBI. 



298 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



If Vreeland was a con man he certainly had influence. He had never left Canada. 
He was under virtual house arrest and regularly checked on by his attorneys and 
the police. He had no passport in his possession. I had called him in Canada at the 
time the postcard was sent. His lawyers said that it was out of the question that he 
had left the country. 

So who mailed the postcard? This is one of the many mysteries left behind by 
Mike Vreeland. 

The hearing to determine Mike Vreeland's fate was scheduled for September 
9 th , 2002. He called me in New York on September 7 th and said that he had dis- 
cussed it with his lawyer, Paul Slanksy, and he had decided to produce some of the 
diplomatic pouches he had had brought back from Moscow. They were still sealed. 
I told him that if that was the case and he was talking to me over a cell phone that 
there was little chance he would ever be allowed to get to court. 

Vreeland never showed up for the hearing. A provisional bench warrant was 
issued as Slanksy rushed to Vreeland's residence with the police. They found the 
apartment completely ransacked. The computer had been demolished, yet there 
was no blood or sign of foul play. All of Vreeland's clothing, his Canadian ID and 
papers, even his toothbrush were all left behind. To my knowledge he has not been 
heard from since, with one exception. 

Vreeland contacted me about a week later to say that he was on the run and in 
the US. He said that he had been forced to leave Canada and that one of his two 
sons was being held under an assumed name somewhere in a Florida jail. His son's 
life was in danger. His number one priority, Vreeland said, was to save his son. The 
tale could have been another cover story, or perhaps Vreeland was sitting some- 
where with a gun to his head. I called Slansky and told him of the call. Even now 
I still get an occasional call from an intelligence junkie trying to play in waters he 
or she knows nothing about, or an e-mail from a jilted would-be lover. Paul 
Slansky and Rocco Galati — who was on the hook for a $5,000 bond — still 
maintain that Vreeland has quite likely been abducted. 

The Canadian government has never asked Galati to pay the promissory note 
attached to Vreeland's bond. 

Silencing me 

Each of my 9/11 stories had a big impact from the start. It was as if I had struck 
an inner chord by talking about deeper, fundamental issues and asking ques- 
tions which had to be asked. My October 12 th appearance on the Guns and 
Butter show at Pacifica's KPFA in Berkeley, where I broke the first key connec- 
tions in the insider trading stories leading to Buzzy Krongard and the CIA, had 
reverberated throughout the network. The interview was rebroadcast again two 
weeks later due to listener demand. Some voices inside KPFA began circulating 
hostile critiques that had nothing to do with the factual information I had dis- 
closed. 



Vreeland II: Silencing Me 299 



In November I taped a three-hour monologue for Pacifica's New York station 
WBAI. It aired during their fall fundraising drive, and we offered my video Wall 
Street's War for Drug Money as a premium. It raised more than $30,000 for the 
station, breaking several records in the process. 

Following a series of successful lectures in Canada, Texas, Oregon, and California, 
Guns and Butter aired an interview with me during the station's fundraising drive 
on February 25, 2002. The Guns and Butter broadcast pre-empted a show hosted 
by Steve Rendell of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting). Rendell is a close 
associate of self-proclaimed media critic Norman Solomon of the Institute for Public 
Accuracy who later traveled to Iraq with Congressman Nick Rahall. 5 Guns and 
Butter offered The Truth and Lies of 9/1 1 as a premium and it raised $17,000 in 
one hour, placing it third on a list of the top 25 most successful public affairs 
fundraising hours in KPFAs history. Total orders for the tape surpassed $20,000 
before the night was over. 

At around the same time, Solomon contacted KPFA programmer and morn- 
ing show host Philip Maldari. Solomon complained that my material should not 
be offered at the station because I was "not credible." He followed this with an 
internal memo stating the same thing — which was forwarded quietly to me. The 
memo was circulated through KPFAs senior programming and management staff, 
and embraced by most of the programmers. 

By February 28 I was notified that I had been denied a spot on Pacifica's national 
fundraising day because, according to what KPFK Public Affairs Director Dan Pavlish 
told one of my supporters, I had provided "factually inaccurate information." Pavlish, 
since removed from his position for unknown reasons, had joined a small choir of 
voices in Pacifica including Larry Bensky, Kris Welch, and Sonali Kolhatkar who, from 
my perspective, were turning out to be supportive of the Empire and its positions. 

On March 3, I was invited to be a guest on a prime fundraising slot at LA's 
Pacifica station, KPFK. Instead of being the sole guest I was confronted at the last 
minute before going on the air by station manager Steven Starr and pressured into 
accepting a live debate with Solomon. This was an extremely unusual format. In the 
debate Solomon offered the weak arguments that because I had quoted Iran-Contra 
figure Oliver North in one of my stories I was not to be trusted. He was implying 
that I liked Oliver North. He made the same innuendo about the fact that I had 
noted that Matt Drudge's website was useful because, from its home page, it pro- 
vided more than 50 links to every major press organization in the world. I rarely 
read Drudge and find him to be extremely partisan. I just use the links on his web- 
site. Solomon also stated that Vreeland was a con man, and that I had rested most 
of my 9/11 credibility on the Vreeland case. It was classic "ambush" journalism. I 
won the debate whenever I could focus on the facts, which was not very often. 

On March 3, 2002, an internal KPFK memorandum signed by Barbara Osborn, 
Suzi Weissman, Terrence McNally, Jon Wiener, and Marc Cooper was sent to sta- 
tion manager Starr and two other KPFK executives. It read in part: 



300 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Ruppert was dismissed from the LAPD with a psychological dis- 
charge. For years he has been peddling conspiracy theories about CIA 
in South L.A., Jeb and George W. Bush, and the drug trade, and now 
apparently, the CIA's involvement in the World Trade center attacks. 
Ruppert has been repudiated by everyone but the naive, the unwit- 
ting, the psychotic, and those willing to exploit him 

Are we to assume that such an implied endorsement of Ruppert is 
done in the name of KPFK's mission and "free speech?" The central 
question at KPFK is not about "free speech" but about what kind of 
speech KPFK will make room for. As difficult as they are to draw, lines 
need to be drawn. Sources need to be vetted. What is credible and/or 
important, versus what is trivial or delusional needs, to the best of 
KPFK's ability, to be discerned. 

It is a tragedy that KPFK would jeopardize its overall credibility by 
lending credence to perspectives that are not credible. Offering pre- 
miums like Mike Ruppert's 9/11 videotape can destroy KPFK as a 
credible information source for important news stories that are both 
controversial and credible. We can't have it both ways. Either we are a 
credible forum or we are an open mic for every delusional knuckle- 
head who can talk his way onto the air. 

The signatories attached the first of what was to be many spiteful and inaccu- 
rate articles by Nation Editor and FOX News commentator David Corn that 
labeled me as an unstable, mercenary, conspiracy theorist. 

The statement that I was fired from LAPD with a psychological discharge was 
maliciously false. When I resigned from LAPD in December 1978, I was earning 
the highest rating reports possible, I had been certified for promotion to detective, 
and had no pending disciplinary actions of any kind. After learning of the memo 
and acquiring a copy I immediately posted all of my LAPD records proving the 
libelous assertions false on my website. They are still there. Later, after Corn had 
said in another major smear in the LA Weekly that I had never mentioned the CIA 
at the time of my resignation, I posted many pages of letters and correspondence 
from both me and my attorney proving that statement to be also inaccurate and 
dishonest. Then I posted a final CIA response to my Freedom of Information Act 
appeals which stated that their records on me were exempt from FOIA on the 
grounds of national security and because they would identify CIA employees. 

I was told by friends at KPFK that the "Cooper Memo," as they called it, had 
been authored by recently ousted KPFK figure Marc Cooper. Cooper was part of 
a group who had lost a suit initiated by KPFK listeners, angry at the dictatorial 
manner in which the network had been "occupied" by people interested in censor- 
ing its airwaves and purging its staff of dissenters. There was good reason to suspect 
Cooper's authorship. In addition to his connections at KPFK, Cooper is also the news 
features editor at the LA Weekly and a contributing editor at The Nation with Corn. 



Vreeland II: Silencing Me 301 



Cooper's footprints showed up again in the March 22 issue of the LA Weekly. 
In another hit piece that called me a conspiracy theorist, writer Ella Taylor described 
me as a "defrocked" ex-cop. 

The internal memo had not only been libelous; it was also a gross invasion of 
privacy. Many encouraged me to file suit. But I recognized another trap common 
in psychological warfare operations like this. A suit would have eaten up most of 
my available time and money. One of the main functions of psychological warfare 
is to distract opponents from fighting battles that might change the outcome of 
the war by making them fight smaller battles that don't ultimately matter. 

Two days after the Weekly story, on March 24, 2002, the Sunday edition of the 
Los Angeles Times ran a huge editorial by Gale Holland titled, "Have You Heard 
About Osama's Cheez-It Stash?" The piece featured a picture of bin Laden next to 
one of Elvis Presley. The caption read, "Like Elvis Presley, Osama bin Laden keeps 
popping up all over, though typically in Utah where he is often seen devouring a 
Big Mac." Holland called me a conspiracy theorist who strung together unsub- 
stantiated facts and then went on to quote Corn about how frustrating it was to 
deal with all of the mentally unbalanced conspiracy theorists who had bombard- 
ed him with information (including, no doubt, many of the facts presented in this 
book). Corn suggested that dealing with conspiracy theorists was a futile endeav- 
or for the sane. 

On May 30 the Nation published a huge hit piece by Corn which started out 
first with shots at Cynthia McKinney and then once again suggested that I had 
been fired from LAPD for psychiatric reasons. In that story, aside from misrepre- 
senting my research Corn wrote, "he misrepresents his source material." 6 Corn 
referred to a previously cited UPI story by Richard Sale in which I accurately quot- 
ed Sale showing that the US government had been eavesdropping on bin Laden's 
cell phone calls for some time. Corn said I had made up the quotations. The 
Nation had to let me respond. They printed my rebuttal to Corn in which I accu- 
rately quoted the Sale piece and proved its existence. Corn's subsequent response 
was that, Gee, he couldn't find the story. 

That makes an illustrative point. Once the damage has been done in a head- 
line story, the corrections appearing afterwards are noted by only a few. 

The crescendo of attacks continued throughout the late summer of 2002. A 
Lexis-Nexis search revealed 23 stories mentioning me between March and August 
of 2002. Of those, 19 were negative and 12 were either written by, or quoted, Corn. 
Many appeared in local newspapers just days before I lectured in Edmonton, Calgary, 
Vancouver, and Toronto. They had titles like "Mike Ruppert vs. the Space Lizards" 
or "The Sublime and the Stupid." It was not until the Colleen Rowley and Phoenix 
FBI fiascoes became front-page news and other damning revelations began leaking 
from within the joint Senate/House Intelligence Committee that the critics fell silent. 

There had, however, been a particularly nasty and personal tone to Corn's 
attacks, which neatly managed to avoid any discussion of the facts. He had also 



302 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



reported on Vreeland's background in a particularly biased manner. If Vreeland 
burped on Monday, Corn was writing about it on Friday. 

However, a rising cadre of talented and fearless independent journalists had 
been watching Solomon, Corn, Pacifica radio, Z Magazine, and the Nation as they 
continued to deny that there was any reason to suspect US government fore- 
knowledge of (let alone involvement in) 9/11. This new generation of truth tellers 
successfully waged a war of logic and documentation that was hurting the Elite 
Left's credibility with its own readership. 7 I was not alone on the battlefield. 

Corn reserved his nastiest bits of invective for his huge article that appeared in the 
LA Weekly just a day after he had played out his own little conspiracy by ambushing 
me on a radio segment hosted by KPFK morning show host Sonali Kolhatkar. On 
June 13, Kolhatkar had invited me to appear as a solo guest on the show with an 
opportunity to discuss the evidence I had been gathering about US complicity in 
9/ 1 1 . At the time I had not developed all of the evidence presented in this book but 
I was convinced at least that the US government had allowed the attacks to occur to 
further their own needs. Kolhatkar repeatedly attempted to turn the discussion to 
statements I had never made and then injected David Corn into the discussion. Corn 
had been listening to the broadcast and had apparently made prior arrangements to 
call in. Sources who were inside the station's control room later confirmed this to me. 

There were two issues. One of course was Vreeland, and the second was the fact 
that in a previous interview with the Portland Indymedia Group I had expressed 
my opinion that Corn was a paid government disinformation agent. I had never 
published a word to that effect in From The Wilderness. About halfway through the 
broadcast Kolhatkar went off the air for an unscheduled break. She came on the 
line with me off-the-air and advised that Corn was on the line and wanted to par- 
ticipate in the broadcast. Knowing that she would unfairly spin a refusal by me, I 
acquiesced. When Corn got on the air he wasted no time in attacking. He started 
on Vreeland first and then on my stated belief that he worked for the government. 
Corn lost control and ended the show screaming that I was delusional. Once 
again, information that was to be confirmed by the government in the summer 
and fall of 2003 was blocked. 

One former CIA employee wrote to me that it was one of the worst cases of 
"ambush" journalism he had ever seen. 

The very next day the Weekly published Corn's newest piece titled "To Protect 
and to Spin." A cartoon image of me appearing as a semi-adolescent crybaby took 
a whole page of the paper. I was again urged to sue but wisely chose to focus on 
the needs of my subscribers and listeners. 

In spite of all this, audience attendance at my lectures in the US, Canada, and 
Australia remained at near capacity. Every time a new attack piece appeared I 
picked up several hundred more subscribers. 

I laughed at the irony when, two months later, I read the following statement by 
Nation publisher Victor Navasky: "I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I believe Oswald 



Vreeland II: Silencing Me 303 



killed Kennedy and probably did it by himself, but I think it's important to raise 
questions. " 8 Navasky made the statement in a story discussing how his magazine's 
book publishing imprint, The Nation Books, had deliberately softened or weak- 
ened some of the more damning evidence disclosed by authors Brisard and 
Dasquie in their book Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth on translating and releas- 
ing the US edition. Only the "sanitized" version of the book is available in the 
US.9 

Fitting the mold 

In 1977 the Rolling Stone published a watershed article by Watergate journalist 
Carl Bernstein titled, "The CIA and the Media." 10 In that story Bernstein dissect- 
ed the documentary evidence showing that more than 400 US journalists in the 
preceding 25 years had carried out assignments for the CIA. Bernstein later spelled 
out that this figure included only those journalists who had been "tasked" by the 
Agency and not those who had served as conduits for Agency propaganda. He 
used CIA documents and interviews with CIA personnel and members of the 
Senate's Church Committee to make his case. While making it clear that the CIA's 
primary and most important relationships had been with the New York Times, 
CBS, and TIME magazine, he also revealed that throughout a so-called free press, 
both at home and abroad, the CIA often recruited journalists, planted stories with 
them, and gave the cooperative ones access to "better" sources which ensured their 
career success. Bernstein even got one CIA official to acknowledge that at one time 
the New York Times had "provided cover for ten CIA operatives." 11 

Other publications that played ball with the Agency included the Los Angeles 
Times, the Colombia Journalism Review, Newsweek, the Washington Star, the Miami 
News, the New York Herald Tribune, the Saturday Evening Post, Scripps-Howard 
Newspapers, Hearst Newspapers, Copley Press, the Associated Press, United Press 
International, NBC, and ABC. One US senator who had been the target of CIA 
lobbying and smear campaign told Bernstein, "From the CIA point of view this 
was the highest, most sensitive covert program of all... It was a much larger part 
of the operational system than has been indicated." 12 

The relationships described by Bernstein have not changed. In January of 2003 
journalist Alan Wolper revealed that New York Times national security reporter 
James Risen was permitting the CIA to review and edit the content of his new 
book The Main Enemy. Risen is one of the journalists charged with being a watch- 
dog on the CIA, and he has, as correctly noted by Wolper, allowed a source under 
scrutiny to edit his content. That is a violation of one of the cardinal rules of jour- 
nalism. 13 

I will go to my grave believing that David Corn and Marc Cooper are paid 
assets of the US government, rewarded with power and prestige (such as it is) for 
loyalty as wolves in sheep's clothing. Those, like Norman Solomon, may be moti- 
vated by more pedestrian hungers, but I doubt it. Solomon did have a book-signing 



304 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



party scheduled around the time when KPFA pre-empted a show hosted by his 
colleague, and the popularity of my work was likely cutting into his sales. 
Solomon's most effective criticism of me had been that in one story I had described 
Vreeland's note as a detailed warning letter and therefore anything that I said should 
be disregarded. 

All of these people — the ones who attack not on grounds of investigative 
method nor on grounds of factual truth; who attempt to keep important infor- 
mation from the people; who loudly proclaim that they should be the gatekeepers 
of the public arena — whether they do it intentionally or not, are part of a polit- 
ical and social ecosystem which works to support the Empire. 

Getting physical 

In March of 2002 a locked outside storage area at our office containing business 
records and a computer was burglarized and cleaned out. In May while I was in 
Sydney, Australia, my hotel room was burglarized, and my laptop computer was 
stolen. Throughout the first seven months of 2002 extremely sophisticated attempts 
were repeatedly made to hack into our website and office computers. Many of the 
attempts were successful, and we were ultimately forced to transfer our hosting 
services to a highly secure commercial company charging almost $1,000 a month. 
This was not until after our site had been down for days. Viruses, unrecognized by 
our virus protection company, also destroyed the hard drives on three of our office 
computers and sent out thousands of e-mails in our name, some containing 
pornography. Through all of this we were able to protect the integrity of our data- 
bases, but it was extremely expensive. One of the things that came to our rescue 
was a worldwide outpouring of technical support and advice. 

Finally, for several months in mid-2002 our LA. office was bombarded with 
microwave weapons that turned off our computers and caused physical discom- 
fort, disorientation, and nausea in the staff. Our general manager at the time was 
able to verify this. He had a scientific background and was an amateur hard-rock 
miner. When the symptoms started hitting, he brought a portable Geiger counter 
into the office and noted that the Gamma radiation, on the first floor of a three- 
story building, was peaking in noticeably lengthy spikes of between .16 and .24 
Microsieverts and sometimes as high as .42 Microsieverts. Normal ambient 
Gamma radiation outdoors at our elevation is about .02 to .06 Microsieverts per 
hour, and although spikes can occur, prolonged peaks cannot be natural occur- 
rences. 

We contacted the manager of the building and had her come in and view the 
readings. She agreed with what we had seen. Then we made a big show of touring 
the building, even its roof, with a camera, other detection devices, and the Geiger 
counter. We sent out messages documenting our findings and let it be widely 
known what we were doing. After a week of this the interior Gamma radiation lev- 
els returned to normal. 



Vreeland II: Silencing Me 30s 



Not long afterwards we found a story which disclosed that in the 1950s and 
60s the US Embassy in Moscow believed that it was being bombarded by Gamma 
radiation which had resulted in the deaths of two ambassadors, the sickening of 
another, and a declaration that the embassy was a hazardous-duty zone. As it 
turned out the embassy was being bombarded by high-intensity microwave beams 
as part of an eavesdropping program. The microwaves had been detected by a 
Geiger counter brought in by security personnel. 14 

The question I am asked most frequently at my lectures is why I haven't been 
killed yet. I have two answers. First, it is not cost-effective, and the response would 
cause more problems that it would solve. I am not important enough to kill. 

Secondly, I will not die one minute before God has decided. 

Vreeland's final irony 

Mike Vreeland went to great lengths to talk about and document his involvement 
with a new Russian weapon-neutralizing missile defense shields being developed 
in the US. This, he insisted, was the impetus for his trip to Moscow. He filled his 
website and phone conversations with details of how the system worked. The legal 
records maintained by his former attorneys are filled with references to it. I never 
reported on it because I had no ability to verify any of his claims. Quite frankly, I 
never really believed him. 

In 2004, long after his disappearance, as his memory faded from the minds of 
all but the most dedicated 9/11 investigators, the following story appeared in the 
Associated Press. 15 

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has designed a "revolutionary" weapon 
that would make the prospective American missile defence useless, 
Russian news agencies reported Monday, quoting a senior Defence 
Ministry official. 

The official, who was not identified by name, said tests conduct- 
ed during last month's military manoeuvres would dramatically 
change the philosophy behind development of Russia's nuclear forces, 
the Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies reported. If deployed, the 
new weapon would take the value of any US missile shield to "zero," 
the news agencies quoted the official as saying. 

The official said the new weapon would be inexpensive, providing 
an "asymmetric answer" to US missile defences, which are proving 
extremely costly to develop. 

Russia, meanwhile, also has continued research in prospective mis- 
sile defences and has an edge in some areas compared to other 
countries, the official said. 

The statement reported Monday was in line with claims by 
President Vladimir Putin's that experiments performed during last 



306 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



month's manoeuvres proved that Russia could soon build strategic 
weapons that could puncture any missile-defence system. 

At the time, Col. Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, the first deputy chief of the 
General Staff of the Russian armed forces, explained that the military 
tested a "hypersonic flying vehicle" that was able to manoeuvre 
between space and the earth's atmosphere. 

Military analysts said that the mysterious new weapons could be a 
maneuverable ballistic missile warhead or a hypersonic cruise missile. 

While Putin said the development of such new weapons wasn't 
aimed against the United States, most observers viewed the move as 
Moscow's retaliation to the US missile defence plans. 

After years of vociferous protests, Russia reacted calmly when 
Washington withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 
in order to develop a countrywide missile shield. But US-Russian rela- 
tions have soured again lately, and Moscow has complained about 
Washington's plans to build new low-yield nuclear weapons. 



PAR T III 




If' 

Opportunity 



CHAPTER 



The Attacks 

Special thanks are given in this chapter to author/ researcher Barbara Honegger 
who first drew my attention to several of the war game exercises being con- 
ducted on 9/11. She provided me with a few articles that were invaluable starting 
points for this part of my investigation of 9/ 1 1 . By the time I was done I under- 
stood how the attacks were executed; that is, I understood how the perpetrators 
were able to effectively neutralize the most powerful and effective air defense sys- 
tem on the planet. After receiving those first articles from Honegger it was a fairly 
simple task to put the pieces together in a way that corresponded perfectly with 
the other evidence which had already been gathered. 

Washington Air Traffic Control Center knew about the first plane before 
it hit the World Trade Center. Yet the third plane was able to fly 'loop-de- 
loops' over Washington, DC one hour and 4 5 minutes after Washington 
Center first knew about the hijackings. After circling in this restricted air- 
space, controlled and protected by the Secret Service who had an open 
phone line to the FAA, how was it possible that that plane was then able 
to crash into the Pentagon?Why was the Pentagon not evacuated? Why was 
our Air Force so late in its response? What, if anything, did our nation do 
in a defensive military posture that morning? 

— Testimony of 9/ 1 1 widow Kristen Breitweiser before the Joint 
Senate House Select Intelligence Committee, Sept. 18, 2001 

b. Support. When notified that military assistance is needed in conjunc- 
tion with an aircraft piracy (hijacking) emergency, the DDO [Deputy 
Director of Operations], NMCC [National Military Command Center], 
will: 

(1) Determine whether or not the assistance needed is reasonably avail- 
able from police or commercial sources. If not the DDO, NMCC, 
will notify the appropriate unified command or NORAD to deter- 
mine if suitable assets are available and will forward the request 



308 



The Attacks 309 



to the Secretary of Defense for approval in accordance with DODD 
3025-15, paragraph D.7 (Reference D). 
(2) If suitable assets from a unified command or NORAD are not rea- 
sonably available, the DDO, NMCC, will coordinate with the 
appropriate Military Service operations center to provide military 
assistance. 

— Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Instruction, CJCSI 36 10.01 A 
Aircraft Piracy (Hijacking) and Destruction 
of Derelict Airborne Objects, 1 June 2001 

The first hijacking was suspected at not later than 8.20 am, and the last 
hijacked aircraft crashed in Pennsylvania at 1 0. 06 am. Not a single fight- 
er plane was scrambled to investigate from the US Andrews air force base, 

just 1 miles from Washington DC, until after the third plane had hit the 
Pentagon at 9.38 am. Why not? There were standard FAA intercept pro- 
cedures for hijacked aircraft before 9/11. Between September 2000 and 

June 2001 the US military launched fighter aircraft on 67 occasions to 
chase suspicious aircraft (AP, August 13 2002). It is a US legal require- 
ment that once an aircraft has moved significantly off its flight plan, 

fighter planes are sent up to investigate. 

Was this inaction simply the result of key people disregarding, or being 
ignorant of, the evidence? Or could US air security operations have been 
deliberately stood down on September 11? If so, why, and on whose 
authority? 

Former British Environmental Minister and MP Michael Meacher 
"The War on Terrorism is Bogus", The Guardian, September 6, 2003 

Normal FAA procedures for responding to even minor deviations from air traf- 
fic control protocols were followed routinely and without complication 67 times 
between September 2000 and June 2001 before a new convoluted order was 
released by the Pentagon on June 1, 2001. That order inserted the Secretary of 
Defense into a decision-making and action protocol, normally the domain of sen- 
ior military commanders. Why? 

Who can forget that scrambled fighter aircraft were flying beside the chartered 
Learjet occupied by golfer Payne Stewart and his entourage on October 25, 1999, 
after all had succumbed to explosive decompression at high altitude? It took only 
minutes for the fighters to get there after Stewart's plane had missed only one turn 
and failed to respond to radio transmissions for just a few minutes. 

Why the enormous difference in responses between 1999 and 2001 when an 
obviously greater emergency existed and was widely recognized? 

Only part of the explanation lies in the dramatic, illogical, and possibly even 
illegal change in what had been routine and effective operating procedures prior 



310 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



to June 1, 2001. The other part lies in a deliberately superimposed overlay of war 
game exercises being conducted by several governmental agencies on September 
1 1 th that inserted false blips into radar screens in the Northeast Air Defense Sector 
(NEADS), involved live-fly exercises with aircraft posing as hijacked airliners, and 
effectively confused and paralyzed all response by loyal interceptor pilots who 
would have seized the initiative that day, regardless of protocol had they known 
where to go. 

The enormous significance of the war games is confirmed by the fact that any 
detailed discussion of them and their relationship to 9/ 1 1 emergency response has 
been neglected by the press, avoided by the government, and ignored by the so- 
called independent commission looking into the attacks. 

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it is here that we find more concrete evidence 
of willful and criminal behavior on the part of high-ranking US government offi- 
cials. It is here that we find evidence of guilty knowledge, obstruction of justice, 
and gross dishonesty on the part of military and civilian officials whose obligation 
has always been to tell the truth. 

The enormity of the crime committed by the Bush administration on September 
11, 2001, is easily overlooked in the intentionally overcrowded morass of press 
reports, changing official positions, and self-contradictory statements made since 
the attacks. Timelines released after 9/11 by the North American Aerospace 
Defense Command (NORAD), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and 
the Pentagon (DoD) do not agree as to actual events, who was notified about those 
events at what times, what orders were given, and the responses to those orders. 

In spite of this, compelling evidence suggests that some aircraft were indeed 
scrambled, probably in time to shoot down Flight 93 over Pennsylvania when pas- 
sengers aboard had apparently successfully regained control of it and might have 
landed the airliner, exposing a plot which had been orchestrated within the high- 
est levels of the military and intelligence command structure. 

Deconstruction Part I — If it ain't broke, don't fix it! 

How did the air traffic control system operate in possible hijack scenarios 
before 9/11? The simple answer is, "Very well." 

In examining the system as it stood until June 1 , 200 1 , we will dispel some false 
notions that were deliberately lodged in the public mind after 9/11; for instance, 
the false assertion that once a commercial aircraft turns off its transponder it 
becomes invisible to air traffic control radar, or that military radars can no longer 
determine its altitude. 

Transponders and radar 

All commercial airliners are equipped with transponders — devices that emit radio 
signals at frequencies selected by air traffic controllers (ATCs) and pilots so that 
each aircraft can be easily identified on radar screens that are often very crowded. 
I have flown in small private planes many times and watched as the pilots respond- 



The Attacks 31 i 



ed to an ATC instruction to "squawk" on a designated frequency. This involves the 
pilot setting the frequency in the cockpit and pushing a button that emits a signal 
on that frequency. Failure to do so in a timely manner results in an immediate 
inquiry from the ATC and a repeated instruction. 

When a transponder is turned off, several things happen to civilian (FAA) radar 
screens that do not affect military radar. First, a small identifying symbol on the 
blip on the controller's radar screen goes out. Second, although the civilian ATC 
still has the ability to track the aircraft in two dimensions, he or she is no longer 
able to pinpoint its altitude. Third, as reported in an on-the-record statement by 
a veteran pilot (and confirmed by at least a dozen others), when an aircraft under 
ATC control goes silent, the blip for that aircraft is instantaneously inserted in a 
conspicuous manner on the screens of every other ATC in the region. Everybody 
sees it. 

Michael Guillaume 
[In re:] scrambling 
Sun Jun 9 13:11:30 2002 

I am a pilot and I know what happens to me when I lose my transpon- 
der. The controller's console immediately alerts him to the fact, since 
he no longer has my transponder code and altitude. This causes him 
a great deal of trouble, and very shortly I get trouble also. I am usual- 
ly instructed to stay below 3,500 feet and return to the airport. The 
reason for the concern is that I am a hazard to navigation. Now imag- 
ine the situation in the Air Route Traffic Control Center (commonly 
abbreviated to 'center'). This is in the northeast corner of the US, the 
busiest airspace on the planet. Each controller has a wedge shaped sec- 
tor that he is responsible for. His airspace is also bounded by altitude 
limits. Commercial flights, referred to as heavies, are always under 
positive control. 

They must constantly be in communication with the controllers 
in order to maintain legal separation. If one of these heavies loses its 
transponder, it causes instant problems for more than one controller 
since altitude information is lost. The controllers still have a skin 
paint, or passive echo from the airframe, but the blip now shows up 
on all consoles for that sector, not just the original one that was han- 
dling the altitude range of the flight. If that same flight loses 
communication with the controllers as well, the controller workload 
takes another giant step upward. Keep in mind that this is in an area 
that is normally stretched to the breaking point with controller over- 
load. This flight is now a hazard to air navigation, and the controllers' 
primary function of separating the planes is in jeopardy. The proce- 
dure for lost communication emergencies is simple: follow your last 



312 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

clearance. If the flight under discussion follows its last clearance, the 
controllers can predict where it will go and can still keep other flights 
out of harm's way. If in addition to losing communication and 
transponder the flight starts to deviate from its last clearance, the 
whole system is in an emergency condition. Alarms all over the coun- 
try would be going off. One interesting piece of information is the 
recording of controller and pilot conversations. These tapes are a mat- 
ter of public record and are written over after a few days unless 
something interesting happens. These tapes would show the response 
of the system. Where are they? 

So we know that the traffic control system would be in panic mode 
within two to three minutes of the initial events. We know that Otis 
Air Force Base is only five minutes from Manhattan by F15. We know 
that the controllers always had a passive return from the planes and 
could vector an intercept. The last Airman's Information Manual I 
bought has a date of 1989 and it describes intercept procedures. So we 
know that intercepts have been routine low-level events since at least 
that time. We know that there is an Air Defense Intercept Zone just 
offshore for the entire Atlantic Coast. This zone is constantly being 
patrolled. In general fast movers [fighter aircraft] would not need to 
be scrambled. They can be diverted from routine patrol and training 
flights for the intercept. I know from experience that early morning 
flights are every pilot's favorite. You preflight the plane in the dark and 
take off. Even in a Cessna, breaking out into the bright clear sunshine 
from the dark earth below is a kick. In an F 15, doing Mach 1 straight 
up would make it impossible to stop grinning. The odds are that 
many flights would be on patrol just offshore. It would be most 
improbable that even one commercial flight could go [astray] more 
than ten minutes without being intercepted. The intercepting plane 
would slowly close from the left and take station slightly above and 
ahead of the errant heavy. At this point he would rock his wings and 
expect the other plane to do the same as a form of non-verbal com- 
munication. After this he would perform a gentle turn to the left and 
the intercepted plane is required to follow. If this does not occur, there 
are many actions, short of firing, the fighter can take to prevent the 
commercial jet from harming either itself, any other plane, or any 
ground structure. 

Interceptions are routine daily occurrences. The fact that they didn't 
happen under extreme provocation raises some serious questions. I 
hope [former FAA Inspector General] Mary Schiavo will ask them. 1 

What is lacking in civilian radar is more than compensated for by US military 
radar. The major media have failed to disclose or discuss the fact that military 



The Attacks 313 



radars — which are capable of determining the altitude of targets without 
transponders — are always tracking all commercial traffic inside the country as 
well. Investigative reports that became public after the equally suspicious 2000 
crash of Egypt Air 990 off the Eastern seaboard establish this. 2 

Several commercial airline pilots also confirmed to me that all commercial air- 
lines are equipped with Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) buttons on the control yoke 
which emit special frequencies to silently alert the FAA and military to specific 
emergencies: 7700 indicates emergency 7600 confirms communications failure, 
and 7500 confirms a hijack. Once tripped, these transponder codes activate an 
SSR radar system that directly and continuously transmits the airplane's altitude 
above sea level. At least one press report from 9/11 confirmed that one or more of 
the hijacked pilots had pressed his button (see below). What about the other pilots? 

I have received innumerable messages from commercial pilots, military per- 
sonnel, and researchers describing a wealth of fighter aircraft routinely available at 
many bases in the area. There is also compelling evidence of scramble-ready fight- 
ers having been available at Andrews Air Force Base, just ten miles outside of 
Washington. What happened to them? 

I received one message from a highly credible source expressing the outrage and 
horror felt by many government employees over the dog-ate-my-homework story 
offered on 9/11. Yet, like so many of these people, the writer, afraid for his pen- 
sion and his family's welfare, denied me permission to publish his name. 

Something has bothered me since 9/11 and it just occurred to me 
what it is! What were they thinking when they sent an F-16 from Otis 
ANG [Air National Guard] base to NY? I worked as a general avia- 
tion pilot based in [deleted]. I flew for an FBO [Fixed Base Operator], 
a company that does charter flying. We used to take a group of gam- 
blers to Atlantic City frequently. I did many trips to Atlantic City, and 
on almost every trip we landed in front of or behind NJ ANG F-l6s. 
Atlantic City is an Air National Guard Base! Atlantic City is half the dis- 
tance from NYC as compared to Cape Cod. Furthermore NAS [Naval 
Air Station] Willow Grove . . . has a Marine Fighter/ Attack Group fly- 
ing F-18s. NAS Willow Grove is considerably closer to NYC. I don't 
know what it means to you, but to me it seems that someone did not 
want fighter protection to arrive too soon. 

XXXXX X. XXXXX 
FAA, Aviation Safety Inspector 
XXXX Flight Standards District Office 

The rules before June 2001 

One of the first analyses of how the system worked before 9/11 was offered by 
Jared Israel at <www.tenc.net>. Some of his work will be cited later in this chap- 



314 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



ter. But the analysis and presentation offered by Nafeez Ahmed in The War on 
Freedom does the best job of revealing how the system worked. 
Ahmed wrote: 

Air traffic controllers routinely request fighter craft to intercept com- 
mercial planes for various reasons when problems faced cannot be 
solved through radio contact, e.g., to inform commercial pilots when 
their plane is off course, or simply to assess the situation directly. 

The deviation of commercial planes from their designated flight 
paths is a common problem solved via interception. As a matter of 
mandatory Standard Operating Procedures, no approval from the 
White House [or Secretary of Defense] is required for interception. 
On the contrary, interception occurs on the basis of established flight 
and emergency response rules.... 

Detailed FAA and Department of Defense manuals are available 
online, clarifying that these instructions are exceedingly comprehensive, 
including issues from minor emergencies to full-blown hijackings. 
According to these instructions, serious problems are handed over to 
the National Military Command Center in the Pentagon, if necessary. 

Commercial flights must adhere to Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). 
According to IFR, before takeoff pilots must file a flight plan with the 
FAA. 

Each route consists of a sequence of geographic points, or fixes, 
which, when connected, form a trajectory from the point of departure 
to the point of arrival. 

As soon as a plane diverts from its flight plan for instance by mak- 
ing a wrong turn at a "fix" — an Air Traffic Controller contacts the 
pilot. If the controller fails to make contact or routine communication 
becomes impossible, established rules dictate that an aircraft will be 
requested to scramble and assess the situation by "interception." 

A clear example of this routine procedure is the FAA's response when 
the Learjet chartered by golf professional Payne Stewart deviated from 
its flight path while the pilot failed to reply by radio. MS-NBC report- 
ed that: 

"Pilots are supposed to hit each fix with pinpoint accuracy. If a 
plane deviates by 15 degrees, or two miles from that course, the flight 
controllers will hit the panic button. They'll call the plane, saying 
American 11, you're deviating from course.' It's considered a real 
emergency, like a police car screeching down a highway at 100 miles 
an hour. When golfer Payne Stewart's incapacitated Learjet missed a 
turn at a fix, heading north instead of west to Texas, F-16 interceptors 
were quickly dispatched." 



The Attacks 31 s 



The FAA, in other words, immediately contacted the military 
when it was confirmed that the plane was off course, and communi- 
cation with the plane was blocked. As CNN reported: 

"Several Air Force and Air National Guard fighter jets, plus an 
AWACS radar control plane, helped the Federal Aviation Administration 
track the runaway Learjet and estimate when it would run out of fuel." 

Once a plane is intercepted by military jets, daytime communica- 
tions with a plane that fails to respond properly to radio contact are 
described by the FAA manual as follows: "... [The interceptor military 
craft communicates by] rocking its wings from a position slightly 
above and ahead of, normally to the left of, the intercepted aircraft. 
This action conveys the message "You have been intercepted." The 
commercial jet is then supposed to respond by rocking its wings to 
indicate compliance, upon which the interceptor performs a "slow 
level turn, normally to the left, on to the desired heading [direction]." 
The commercial plane then responds by following the escort. 

The deviation of a plane from its designated flight path obviously cre- 
ates a hazard in the form of a potential collision with another plane. The 
FAA thus has a clear definition of what constituted an emergency sit- 
uation: "Consider that an aircraft emergency exists ... when: ... There is 
unexpected loss of radar contact and radio communications with any ... 
aircraft." Elsewhere the FAA states: "EMERGENCY DETERMINA- 
TIONS: If... you are in doubt that a situation constitutes an emergency 
or potential emergency, handle it as though it were an emergency." 

An FAA Air Defense Liaison Officer stationed in the headquarters 
of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) plays 
the role of coordinating the FAA with the US military to handle emer- 
gencies as efficiently as possible. While NORAD normally scrambles 
fighter jets, if necessary, other military jets can be scrambled as well: 
'Normally, NORAD escort aircraft will take the required action. 
However, for the purpose of these procedures, the term "escort aircraft 
applies to any military aircraft assigned to the escort mission." 

Again, the response to the deviation of Payne Stewart's jet from its 
flight path provides an example. ABC reported that: 

"First a fighter jet from Tyndall, Fla., was diverted from a routine 
training flight to check out the Learjet. Two F-16s from another 
Florida base then picked up the chase, later handing it over to two F- 
16s from Fargo, North Dakota." 

As a matter of mandatory routine, the established instructions for 
a serious emergency are followed, and this includes emergencies involv- 
ing the possibility of a hijacking. "In the event of a serious emergency, 
or if a possible hijacking has occurred: The escort service will be 



316 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



requested by the FAA hijack coordinator by direct contact with the 
National Military Command Center (NMCC)." 

The Department of Defense affirms the same, adding that once 
military planes are scrambled in accordance with immediate respons- 
es, the Department of Defense will be contacted for approval of special 
measures: "In the event of a hijacking, the NMCC will be notified by 
the most expeditious means by the FAA. The NMCC will, with the 
exception of immediate responses ... forward requests for DoD assis- 
tance to the Secretary of Defense for approval." 

It should be reiterated that procedures also require controllers to 
immediately alert the military to scramble fighter craft, if a plane devi- 
ates from its flight path and communication between the plane and 
controllers is blocked 

Indeed, "The US military has its own radar network .... (NORAD) 
... They are tied into the FAA computer in order to get information 
on incoming flights." If a target is discovered "without flight plan 
information," or in violation of the same, "they will call on the 'shout' 
line to the appropriate [Air Traffic Control] Center sector for an ID." 
If the Center sector "has no datablock or other information on it, the 
military will usually scramble an intercept flight .... and they will like- 
ly find two F-18s on their tail within 10 or so minutes." 3 

A critical distinction between the pre-9/11 procedure and that established in 
June of 200 1 appears to be that the FAA and NMCC were free to initiate "imme- 
diate responses" without waiting for approval from the Secretary of Defense. Certain 
immediate response options were allowed in the 2001 order. However, they appear 
to be much more restrictive. 

Historical context 

Several civil suits have been filed against the US government since 9/11. One of 
those suits is being handled by attorney Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general 
of the FAA. Its primary targets are the airlines and the FAA, for their failures to 
provide paying customers with any credible advance warning of the attacks. Not 
far beneath this surface, however, there may well lie a more radical motive for the 
litigation, since both the evidence and the tone imply that FAA failures were per- 
verse successes in a larger criminal conspiracy. Yet the Schiavo suit (out of strategic 
choice, ignorance, or mere timidity) does little to confront and develop its own 
implications; most importantly, it does not pursue issues of intelligence or military 
activities. As of May 2004, many victim families in this suit have expressed dis- 
pleasure over what they perceive as Schiavo's willingness to yield to the government's 
efforts to keep critical records out of public view. 

Schiavo made a formal statement at a June 10, 2002, press conference held at 
the National Press Club in Washington, DC, and sponsored by the 9/11 activist 



The Attacks 317 



organization Unanswered Questions on the initiative of organizer Kyle Hence. 
While Schiavo has self-limited her public remarks, she raised some interesting 
questions at this press conference about whether the airlines, at a corporate level, 
might also have had some foreknowledge of the attacks. Both former Assistant 
Secretary of Housing Catherine Austin Fitts and I participated in that press con- 
ference, and I was astonished at what I heard. Here is some of what Schiavo had 
to say: 

First of all, the question is not what they should have known. And I 
believe I can show you in just a few seconds the question is what did 
they know? And believe me, they knew a lot. The second thing to 
emphasize is that in every single aviation disaster, whether there was 
intervening criminal activity or not, in every single one in the course 
of modern aviation history it has been followed by, not only were 
it necessary [sic], a criminal investigation, but also a National 
Transportation Safety investigation into what went wrong in the avi- 
ation system .... 

Because on a September day four planes were hijacked in an Islamic 
Jihad. It shocked the world and would forever change the law under 
which we act. It would set new laws. It would change the world as we 
knew it, and it should have forever changed the world of aviation. You 
think I'm talking about September 11 th . I'm not. I'm talking about 
September 12, 1970. Yes we had an Islamic Jihad. Four airplanes were 
hijacked; actually it was supposed to be five. They were taken to 
Jordan. They were blown up on September 12, 1970 .... 

The date was 1970. So in the wake of September 11, 2001, when 
we heard the carriers and governments alike saying, "Oh, no one 
could have foreseen this. No one knew that this was coming. No one 
knew that there was any risk like this in the world," [it was] absolute- 
ly false. And we knew that before Condoleezza Rice made the shocking 
announcement a couple weeks ago about not only was there a great 
amount of information known, but that the carriers and the FAA were 
warned repeatedly. In fact, in that very speech the admission said that 
they were warned at least five times including specifically. I love this 
language that it wasn't a "specific warning." Let me tell you, "Middle 
Eastern terrorists hell bent on a hijacking" is pretty darn specific. And 
in fact there are cases in law in the history of — of aviation history, 
that say that airlines are responsible for that whether or not they fol- 
low the law. They should have, as necessary, even hired armed personnel 
to guard their passengers. Why? Because passengers had a contract. 
And in addition here, of course, you had a horrible, horrible tragedy 
on the ground as well. 



318 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

Let me give you a little "for instance" of what was known out there 
in the aviation industry. Thirty-three years after the first attack on US 
aviation we had September 11 th . But there were many, many other 
warnings in between. 

I, for one, believe that you should leave no stone unturned in the 
search for justice. But you have to do what you do best. So I am per- 
sonally looking at every single terrorist attack and hijacking against 
modern aviation. And I even gave the carriers a break. I didn't start in 
1970 with the big four airplane Islamic Jihad. I started thirty years ago 
from September 11, 1972. You want to see what kind of numbers are 
out there when the carriers said, "Oh, we couldn't possibly have 
known this" and "We didn't know that airlines are subject to this kind 
of attack?" Here's what we're looking at folks. This is the unknown 
and unforeseeable. That's what we've got. That's what the airline 
industry really looks like. [At this point Schiavo puts down on the podi- 
um a tall stack of documents several thousand pages in length] . Here, I 
have some extras if you want to send them around. In the last 30 
years we have had 682 hijackings — 682. Here's an interesting statis- 
tic. When we had the United States saying, "Oh, we couldn't have 
known this." And even when passengers were getting calls out to their 
family, what information went back to them? Guess what, of those 
682 hijackings in the last 30 years, 101 times passengers fought to 
defend themselves and took down the hijackers, including, of course, 
El Al which successfully foiled the hijacking on September 12, 1970 
in the ... original four-plane Islamic Jihad [hijacking]. 

How many bombings do you suppose there have been? That's 
what we say we were busy looking for on September 1 1 th . They said, 
"We were looking for bombers. We were still looking for Pan Am 
103." Well we had 682 hijackings, and we had 31 bombings. How 
about shoot downs? We think that's even rarer — 59. So the thing 
that we were all out there searching for, the Pan Am 103 bomber, 
among hijackings, shoot downs and bombings, was actually the least 
number of things that we had suffered 

What about the information from the air traffic control? They had 
information that happened at the beginning. One of the other speak- 
ers has already mentioned the scrambling of the planes, and yet no 
warnings were given to the pilots about specific events that were going 
on or of warnings of [sic] "Don't open the door," what's going on, 
"Don't open that door under any circumstances." Already there's a 
federal aviation regulation about not opening the door. We need to 
know why. Why didn't that information go out? And finally, it was 
well known before September 11 th not one, not two, not three, and 



The Attacks 319 



even more than four federal investigations showed that security could 
be breached at will. 4 

Alhazmi and Almidhar 

Chapter 9 discussed the charmed lives of two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf Alhazmi 
and Khalid Almidhar. Before 9/11 they had been tracked by eavesdropping and 
electronic surveillance, and they had even lived for months in the private home of 
a trusted FBI informant. This was at a time when they were on several watch lists 
and had been directly connected to terror attacks for which they could have been 
immediately arrested. Yet no one in law enforcement seemed to be able to find 
them. Their "luck" held on September 11. While 9 of the 19 hijackers were report- 
edly selected for special screening before they boarded their flights, these two, who 
were on a CIA alert watch list and wanted by the FBI in an equivalent of an all 
points bulletin, were not even questioned. 5 

The following table, compiled mostly from Paul Thompson's timeline 
<www.cooperativeresearch.org>, is a partial comparison of key events during the 
attacks of September 11, 2001. 



TIME 


AIRLINE 


FAA 


MILITARY 


BUSH & ADMIN. 


8:13 


Last routine contact 
with FLT 1 1 

immediately thereafter 
the pilot fails to 
respond to a call to 
climb to a new altitude 
FLT 1 1 took off at 
7:59. i 

FLT 1 1 hijacked. 1 








8:14 


FLT 1 75 takes off from 
Boston. 3 

FLT 1 1 Pilot activates 
talk back button. 
Controllers can hear 
conversation 
in cockpit. 4 




FLT 

^ hijac 
^ § cor, f' 

m ^ 

O Z 
m rn 


11 

king 
rmed 


UNEXPLAINED 
32 MINUTE DELAY 


UNEXPLAINED 26 IV 




8:20 


FLT 1 1 stops 
transmitting IFF ("Identity 
Friend or Foe" — hijack 
alarm) beacon (con- 
firming that it had been 
activated). 5 


<NORAD 
should have 
been notified 
here> 


<Scramble 
order should 
have been 
issued by 
this point> 


INUTE DELAY 





320 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



TIME AIRLINE 



MILITARY 



BUSH & ADMIN. 



8:20 



FLT 1 1 veers 
dramatically off 



<FAA should 
have been 
notified here> 



Boston ATC decides 
FLT 1 1 is a hijack. 
Official timeline 
shows other ATCs 
are not notified for 
5 minutes. NORAD 
is not notified for 
20 minutes. 7 



8:21 



8:24 



8:25 



FLT 77 departs 
Dulles Airport in 
Virginia. 8 



FLT 1 1 Turns off 
transponder. 9 



Pilot of FLT 1 1 activates 
talk button. Boston 
ATC overhears hijackers. 
Transponder has been 
off for 10 minutes. 10 

Boston ATC sees 
FLT 1 1 make a 1 00 
degree turn to the 
south. ATCs confirm 
they never lost sight 
of FLT 11." p ress 
accounts confirm that 
FLT 1 1 's radar dot had 
been "tagged" for 
easy visibility even 
that the plane was 
being watched by 
American Airlines 
headquarters.! 2 
These stories contradict 
a Washington Post 
story saying that 
Boston Authorities 
had lost contact.! 3 



Boston ATC notifies 
other ATCs that FLT 
1 1 is a hijacking. 



x 

> 



cz 
z 

m 

X 



X 



L 



The Attacks 321 



TIME 


AIRLINE 


FAA 


MILITARY 


BUSH & ADMIN. 


8:25 


They don't notify 
NORAD for another 
1 3 minutes. 14 










8:30- 
8:39 








UNEXPLAINED 26 MINUTE 
UNEXPLAINED 32 MINUTE 


President Bush's 
motorcade leaves his 
Florida hotel for the 
Emma Booker 
Elementary School 9 
miles away. The 
journey takes an 
incredible 25 minutes. 15 


8:37 




Sector ATC asks 
pilot on FLT 1 75 
to look for lost 
plane. Pilot of 
1 75 says they 
can see FLT 1 1 
and are told to 
keep away. 16 


m m 

i i 

8:37:53 Boston 
Center reaches 
NEADS and advises 
that FLT 1 1 is a 
confirmed hijack 17 




8:40 




Boston ATC 
notifies NORAD 
of FLT 1 1 
hijacking. 18 


Two pilots at Otis 

AFB on Cape Cod in 

MA are told of the 

hijack. Yet no 

scramble order is 

given. Why? 19 

NORAD, in its first 

official timeline, 

admits it was notified 

of hijack. 20 This 

time is changed c 

in the final 9/11 z 

Commission 

report. !> 
z 




8:42 


FLT 93 takes off from 
Newark after a 40 
minute delay. 21 

FLT 1 75 veers off 
course, "within 90 
seconds of 8:41 ." 21 






ED 16 MINUTE DELAY 





322 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



TIME 


AIRLINE 


FAA 


MILITARY 


BUSH & ADMIN. 


8:42 


FLT 1 75 reports hearing 




r 






FLT 1 1 's radio keyed. 
FLT 1 75 flight crew 
hears: "Everyone 


FLT 175 c c 
hijacking m m 
confirmed -g § 






stay in your seats." 23 




LAIN 
LAIN 




8:43 




NORAD 
notified of FLT 
1 75 hijack. ATC 
reports that an 
emergency 
locator trans- 
mitter has been 
activated. 24 


ED 16 MINUTE DELAY 
ED 32 MINUTE DELAY 




8:46 


FLT 11 hits the 
World Trade Center 

FLT 1 75 stops emitting 
transponder signal 50 
miles north of NY City. 28 

Other reports state that 
1 75 had turned its 
transponder off, then 
back on again to an 
unassigned frequency. 29 




Scramble orders are 
issued at Otis AFB to 
go after FLT 11, 190 
miles away. Fighters 
from closer bases 
like Atlantic City are 
not scrambled. 25 

Acting chair of the 
Joint Chiefs, Richard 
Myers, claims that 
he sees a TV report 
about a plane 
hitting the WTC. He 
will later state that 
he was oblivious to 
any other events 
until the Pentagon 
is hit. 26 

He will contradict 
himself in sworn 
testimony later 
saying that he made 
a decision to start 
launching after the 
2 nd tower was hit. 27 

Three F-1 6s assigned 
to Andrews AFB are 
flying an air-to- 
ground strike training 
mission 207 miles 
from DC. Instead of 





The Attacks 323 



TIME 


AIRLINE 


FAA 


MILITARY 


BUSH & ADMIN. 


8:46 






being ordered to 
DC at supersonic 
speeds, they return 
slowly, landing only 
after FLT 77 hits 
Pentagon. They 
could have been in 
DC airspace in 10 
minutes. 31 




After 
8:46 




FAA has open 
line to Secret 
Service. This is 
later confirmed 
by VP Cheney. 32 


NORAD and NMCC 
have open phone 
lines. 33 




8:46- 
9:00 








Navy Captain Deborah 
Loewer in the Bush 
motorcade receives a 
message from a deputy 
in the White House 
Situation Room about 
the first WTC impact. 
This is before Bush gets 
to Booker and while it 
is known that three 
airliners have been 
hijacked. 34 

Bush will later state that 
he saw video of the first 
crash before he started 
speaking. This is a 
blatant lie. Video of the 
first crash will not be 
shown for hours. 35 


8:46- 
8:55 


Barbara Olsen, wife of 
US Solicitor General, 
Ted Olsen calls her 
husband at the Justice 
Dept. from FLT 77. He 
calls the Justice Dept. 
Command Center and 
advises of hijacking. 36 


FL7 
hijac 
confi 

c 


77 
king 
rmed 

c 




8:48 


First TV and news reports 
of plane crashing into 
World Trade Center. 37 


lEXPLAINED 
9 MINUTE 
DELAY 


EXPLAINED 
2 MINUTE 
DELAY 





324 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



TIME 


AIRLINE F 


AA 


MILITARY 


BUSH & ADMIN. 


8:50 


Last radio contact with 
FLT 77. Pilot asks for 
clearance to a higher 
altitude then does not 
respond to a routine 
instruction. 38 
















8:52 










Otis Air Natl. Guard 
pilots take off, 12 
minutes after receiving 
notification. Flying 
F-1 5s their top speed 
is 1 875 mph with a 
supersonic cruise of 
1600 mph. v 




8:54 


FLT 77 begins to go off 
course over Ohio.™ 

FLT 77 turns around 
and heads east over east 
Kentucky indicating a 
target in Washington. 40 






UNEXPLAINED 






UNEXPLAINED 




8:55 








29 MINUTE DELAY 






32 MINUTE DELAY 


President Bush's motor- 
cade arrives at Booker 
Elementary School. At 
this time there are 3 
confirmed hijacks and 
one WTC tower has 
been hit. 41 


8:56 


FLT 77 transponder is 
deactivated. This is 6 
minutes before FLT 1 75 
hits the WTC. 42 
















After 
8:56 










NMCC officials in 
the western part of 
the Pentagon are 
talking to law 
enforcement officials 
about possible 
responses. 43 This is 
45 minutes before 
the Pentagon is hit. 




Before 
8:58 
















A news photographer 
traveling with the Bush 



The Attacks 325 



TIME 


AIRLINE 


FAA 


MILITARY 


BUSH & ADMIN. 


Before 
8:58 












entourage overhears a 
radio transmission that 
Press Secretary Ari 
Fleischer would be 
needed on arrival at the 
school to discuss 
reports of the crash. 44 


8:58 












Latest confirmed arrival 
of Bush at the Booker 
Elementary School. At 
this time there are three 
confirmed hijackings. 45 


9:00 






UNEXPLAINED 29 MINUTE DELAY 


Pentagon moves its 

alert status up one 

level to Alpha, three 

levels below 

maximum. 49 

c 
z 

m 

X 

£ 
z 

m 

a 

z 
c 

—1 
m 

a 

m 


Chief of Staff Andy Card 
officially notifies Bush 
about the 1 st WTC 
impact. This is 1 2 min- 
utes after the rest of the 
world has heard about 
it on TV and well after 
the staff knows. 46 

Bush is taken to a hold 
ing room and briefed 
by National Security 
Advisor Condoleezza 
Rice. Yet he decided to 
go ahead and read to 
the children. 47 


9:01 


The Pilots of FLT 93 
reportedly acknowledge 
a general FAA warning 
about cockpit intrusion 
and request to barricade 
doors. The pilots are not 
told of the WTC crash 
or that another plane is 
missing. 50 










At this time, according 
to his own statement, 
Bush says that he was 
sitting outside a class 
room structure to go in 
and he saw an airplane 
hit the WTC. He 
thought it was a terrible 
pilot. This was hours 
before any footage of 
the fist impact had 
been broadcast. 48 


9:03 


FLT 175 hits South 
Tower, WTC 






The Otis AFB F-15s 
are still 71 miles 
away. Calculations 
indicated that they 
had been flying at 


The Secret Service 
reportedly calls Andrews 
AFB and tells them to 
get F-1 6s ready to fly. 
Yet they have not rushed 



326 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



TIME 


AIRLINE 


FAA 


MILITARY 


BUSH & ADMIN. 


9:03 










less than 700 mph. 51 
The F-1 5's top speed 
is 1850 mph. 52 


Bush out of the school. 

The official story says 
planes still being loaded 
when Pentagon hit. 53 


9:03- 
9:06 








UNEXPLAINED 29 






UNEXPLAINED 32 


Chief of Staff Andrew 
Card informs Bush of 
second impact. 54 

Secret Service agents 
reportedly storm into the 
Vice President's office 
and carry him to the 
(PEOC) emergency 
bunker. 55 Bush continues 
to read to the children. 
Conflicting reports 
delivered later place the 
time of this 30 minutes 
later. All these reports 
came well after initial 
statements, as discrep- 
ancies started appearing 
in various records. 


9:03- 
9:16 
approx 








MINUTE DELAY 






MINUTE DELAY 


At this time, Bush 
cannot be approached 
for shoot down discus 
sions. Chief of Staff 
Andrew Card is the 
gatekeeper. Bush read 
to 2 nd graders about a 
pet goat. This at a time 
when he should have 
been making decisions 
to shoot down airliners. 56 


9:05 




\ 

< 

F 
t 


Vest Virginia 
VTCs notice an 
■astbound 
)lane with no 
ransponder 
■ntering their 
irspace. It is 
LT 77." 










9:06 




/ 
r 


1 ATC facilities 
lationwide are 











The Attacks 327 



TIME AIRLINE 



MILITARY 



BUSH & ADMIN. 



9:06 



9:09 



9:16 



9:22 



9:24 



notified that the 
FLT 1 1 crash a 
WTYC was 
probably a 
hijacking, yet 
the West 
Virginia ATCs do 
not notify 
NORAD for 1 8 
more minutes. 58 



x 

-a 



FAA informs 
NORAD that 
FLT 93 may 
have been 
hijacked. 60 



FAA notifies 
NORAD that 
FLT 77 may be 
hijacked and 



2 z 

— m 

Z X 

h r 

m J> 

O Z 
m m 



NORAD orders F-1 6s 
at Langley AFB, 110 
miles from D.C. to 
battle stations. This 
is not a scramble 
order. At this point, 
1 1 aircraft nationwide 
are reported not in 
communication with 
ATCs or are off- 
course. 59 



<ALL NEADS FIGHTER AIRCRAFT 
SHOULD HAVE BEEN SCRAMBLED> 



A US fighter aircraft 
passes near FLT 93 
well before its crash 
in PA. The sonic 
boom is picked up 
by a seismic 
monitoring station 
in southern PA. That 
means that this 
same fighter could 
have reached 
Washington well 
before FLT 77 hit 
the Pentagon. 61 



One Air Force Pilot 
code named 
"Honey", who 
piloted an F-1 6 from 



328 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



TIME 


AIRLINE 


FAA 


MILITARY 


BUSH & ADMIN. 


9:24 




headed towards 
DC. 61 


Langley, disputes 
the official version. 
He says that the call 
to battle stations 
was not sounded 
until 9:24. 63 




9:27 






NORAD orders three 
F-1 6s to intercept 
FLT 77. They are 129 
miles from DC. 
Available aircraft from 
Andrews AFB are 
not scrambled. 64 


Bush talks to Cheney at 
White House but there 
is no discussion of 
shooting down FLT 77 
or 93. Why? 6S 


9:29 








Bush leaves Booker 
Elementary and stops 
to make a press 
announcement. He is 
keeping to his publicly 
announced schedule 
starting his announce- 
ment at the exact time 
that had been 
scheduled before the 
attacks. He is making 
himself a target. Why? 66 


9:33- 
9:38 


FLT 77 executes a 270 
degree point turn over 
the Pentagon coupled 
with a sharp dive to take 
it to the west side which 
is under construction 
and largely unoccupied. 67 
This is a feat of 
piloting skill. 








9:36 


FLT 93 files a new flight 
plan, indicates it is 
going to Washington, DC 
and turns around 1 30 
degrees. 68 


FLT 
hijac 
confi 


93 

king 

rmed 




9:38 


FLT 77 hits the 
Pentagon. 




The Langley fighters 
are still 105 miles 
away. Simple math 
indicates that they 
have been flying at 


Secretary of Defense 
Donald Rumsfeld is 
sitting in his office 
watching TV. 



The Attacks 329 



TIME 


AIRLINE 


FAA 


MILITARY 


BUSH & ADMIN. 


9:38 






a speed of 
200 mph. 69 


This contradicts 
Richard Clark. 70 


9:40 


Transponder contact on 
FLT 93 is lost. 71 








9:41 






The three F-1 6s 
already airborne 
from Andrews and 
on a training 
mission, return to 
base. 72 


The Secret Service 
orders fighters from 
Andrews into the air 
"now". The White 
House declares 
Washington DC a free 
fire zone. Is this a 
breach of chain of 
command by frustrated 
agents or the execution 
of a legitimate order? 
It is not delivered in 
the appropriate 
manner. 73 


9:43 








Bush arrives at the 
Sarasota airport. As of 
this moment, it is 
confirmed that he is in 
the communication 
loop and capable of 
ordering a shoot 
down. 74 


9:49- 
10:10 






The F-1 6s from 
Langley reach the 
Pentagon. Basic com- 
putations indicate 
they were flying 
at 300-450 mph. 75 




9:55 








The Secret Service 
orders all pilots to 
protect the White 
House at all costs. 76 

An aide advises VP 
Cheney that FLT 93 is 
80 miles out of DC and 
that US fighters are 
close to it. Cheney is 
asked, "Should we 



330 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



TIME 


AIRLINE 


FAA 


MILITARY 


BUSH & ADMIN. 


9:55 








engage" Cheney says 
"Yes" then confirms 
the order twice. 77 


10:01 






Fighters are ordered 
to scramble from 
Toledo, Ohio. 
Though it has no 
"standby" fighters 
it has planes in the 
air in 18 minutes. 78 




10:03 


FLT 93 crashes in 
southern Pennsylvania. 79 








Before 
10:06 


FLT 93 leaves a huge 
debris field over many 
square miles. This is 
inconsistent with a crash 
of an intact airliner. One 
half-ton piece of an 
engine is found more 
than a mile away. 
This is consistent with 
the impact of a missile 
at altitude. There are a 
dozen witness reports 
of events consistent 
with a shoot down plus 
smaller debris fields two, 
three and eight miles 
away. 83 

Multiple witnesses also 
report a small unmarked 
white civilian jet circling 
FLT 93 and around the 
crash site. 84 


One ATC 
ignores the ban 
on public 
statements and 
states that an 
F-1 6 closely 
pursued FLT 93, 
making 360 
degree turns 
to stay close. 81 


CBS reports that 
two F-1 6s are tailing 
Flight 93. 80 

The mayor of 
Shanksville, PA states 
that he knows two 
people who 
heard a missile. 82 





Special acknowledgement is given to Paul Thompson and the Center for Cooperative 
Research (<www.cooperativeresearch.org>), without whose incredible research time- 
line this chart would not have been possible. All endnotes for this section are 
accessible at: <www.cooperative research.org/comletetimeline.index.html>. Select the 
option for Sept. 11, minute by minute. 



The Attacks 331 



On September 11 and in the days that followed, both Vice President Dick 
Cheney and acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Meyers deliber- 
ately misled the American press, the Congress, and the American people about 
what happened that day. An excellent deconstruction of their testimony was pre- 
sented not long after 9/11 by researcher Jared Israel. 

Mr. Israel reported, "Richard Cheney on Meet the Press [Sept 16, 2001, said,] 
'Well, the — I suppose the toughest decision was this question of whether or not 
we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft.'" This is a clearly misleading 
statement intended to confuse listeners about the lack of effective, dutiful response 
by the National Command Authority. Cheney's deception was paralleled by two 
contradictory statements offered by Air Force Chief of Staff General Richard 
Myers, who was confirmed as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs just days after the 
attacks. Myers in his initial statements said that there were no fighters available to 
intercept any of the flights and then later testified that the fighters had in actuali- 
ty been deployed according to the above timeline. 6 

Perhaps most compellingly it has been shown that the website of Andrews Air 
Force Base, the home of Air Force One, was modified around the time of the 
attacks to hide the fact that it has always maintained scramble-ready fighters. This 
readiness is no secret to anyone who lives (as I did in 1994) near the sprawling air 
base near Upper Marlboro, Maryland. It is impossible to count the number of sor- 
ties involving F-15s, F-16s, F-18s, and other military aircraft originating from the 
base. It also defies logic to think that the home of the president's personal airplane 
and the closest airbase to Washington, DC — in the most intensely guarded air- 
space on the planet — would not have scramble-ready jets. 

In fact, that's just what the Andrews website said it had — until sometime in 
2001. Until April 19, 2001, the DC Air National Guard (DCANG) web page on 
the Andrews AFB website described the unit's mission thus: "To provide combat 
units in the highest possible state of readiness." 

Another portion of a linked website dealing with the 1 1 3 th Fighter wing based 
at Andrews said, "As part of its dual mission, the 1 13 th provides capable and ready 
response forces for the District of Columbia in the event of a natural disaster or 
civil emergency Members also assist local and federal law enforcement agencies in 
combating drug trafficking in the District of Colombia. [They] are full partners 
with the active Air Force." 

And yet another Marine fighter squadron at Andrews described itself as follows: 
"Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 321, a Marine Corps Reserve squadron, 
flies the sophisticated F/A-18 Hornet. Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 49, 
Detachment A, provides maintenance and supply functions necessary to maintain 
a force in readiness." 7 

Careful research showed that the Andrews AFB website and the page for the 
DCANG had been modified sometime between April 2001 and September 13, 
2001, when it was discovered that the phrase "in the highest possible state of 



332 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



readiness" had been removed. The alteration was only discovered because an earli- 
er version of the web page had been archived on April 19. 8 

Notwithstanding this evidence of guilty knowledge and evidence tampering, at 
least four major press organizations did report that Andrews-based fighter aircraft 
had scrambled immediately on 9/11. 9 All of these stories were published within 
five days of the attacks and before the revised official spin had percolated through 
the media mix. 

Let one happen. Stop the rest!! 

There is considerable evidence that Delmart "Mike" Vreeland's prediction became 
a reality on 9/11. 

In a story headlined "FBI Investigates Possible Hijackers on 5th Flight, Tribune 
Says," Bloomberg News reported that the FBI had started an urgent investigation 
of an unspecified number of passengers booked on American Airlines Flight 43 
from Boston to an unnamed West Coast city on the morning of September 1 1 . 
The flight, scheduled to depart at around the same time as the others, had been 
cancelled because of an unspecified mechanical difficulty The problem was that 
the passengers in question never came back for a rescheduled flight, nor continued 
their travels when air service was restored two days later. Other passengers with 
"Arabic-sounding" names, also on flight 43, were being sought by authorities. 10 

Canadian General Ken Pennie, Deputy NORAD Commander, reported the 
likelihood that more than four aircraft were involved on 9/1 1 . He cited an instance 
where suspicious passengers left a grounded airplane somewhere in North America. 
A press report disclosed that Pennie had been alluding to a Los Angeles-bound 
flight grounded in New York from which three Middle-Eastern passengers had 
been kicked off after demanding that the plane take off. The plane, United Airlines 
Flight 23, was destined for the West Coast and full of fuel. 11 

And in Toronto an interesting discovery was made on a plane that never took 
off on September 1 1 . Two box-cutter knives, like the ones reportedly used by the 
hijackers, were found in their original packaging in an overhead storage bin on an 
Air Canada flight that had been scheduled to fly from Toronto to New York. The 
discovery was made as the plane was prepped for its first post-9/11 flight on 
September 14. Canadian officials offered the explanation that they thought the 
box cutters had just fallen out of someone's luggage. 12 



CHAPTER 



Wargames And High Tech: 

Paralyzing The System 
To Pull Off The Attacks 

Cheney to Oversee Domestic Counterterrorism Efforts 
President announces new homeland defense initiative 
President Bush May 8 directed Vice President Dick Cheney to coordinate develop- 
ment of US government initiatives to combat terrorist attacks on the United States... 

— White House Press Release, May 8, 2001 

Therefore, I have asked Vice President Cheney to oversee the development of a coor- 
dinated national effort so that we may do the very best possible job of protecting our 
people from catastrophic harm. I have also asked joe Allbaugh, the Director of the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency, to create an Office of National Preparedness. 
This office will be responsible for implementing the results of those parts of the nation- 
al effort overseen by Vice President Cheney that deal with consequence management. 
Specifically it will coordinate all federal programs dealing with weapons of mass 
destruction consequence management within the Departments of Defense, Health and 
Human Services, Justice, and Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other 
federal agencies. . . . 

— Official Statement of President George W. Bush, May 8, 2001 
Office of the Press Secretary, The White House 

What wasn't addressed by any of the constructs previously posed by 9/ 1 1 inves- 
tigators was an assumption that pilots and commanders would just sit passively by 
and watch their country be attacked — no matter what the orders were — if Dick 
Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, or acting Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers failed 
to issue a scramble order or actually issued a (very risky) direct stand-down order. 
That assumption had people looking for a single "stand down" directive originat- 
ing from one hidden source. I never felt comfortable with that. A detective learns 
to be vigilant against the temptation to cut corners; otherwise, the explanation 
that requires the least investigative work is the one that gets all the attention. In a 

333 



334 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



sound investigation, the simplest explanation must also encompass the known 
facts without any of those facts being discarded as a measure of expedience. 

Military discipline can be severe, but the absence of orders to scramble would 
never have provided our suspects with a guarantee that pilots and commanders 
would not respond on 9/11 and stop the attacks anyway. For an event like 9/11, 
where the American homeland was under attack and American citizens were dying, 
that would be the equivalent of asking a prizefighter who had trained his entire life 
not to enter the ring for his first-ever title fight — a championship match — when 
the opportunity presented itself and his or her name was called. My father flew in 
air force interceptors towards the end of the Korean War. I was a toddler then. We 
were stationed in Maine and I still remember the cold. I also remember the brava- 
do and the esprit de corps of men who believed in their mission. 

Air Force flyers are a proud and assertive lot. They are trained to be aggressive 
and to show initiative. The lack of an order to scramble in the confusion of 9/ 1 1 
was no guarantee that enough pilots wouldn't scramble to prevent the second and 
third attacks, especially after CNN had shown the World Trade Center burning. 
Clearly NORAD and the FAA knew that multiple hijackings were in progress by 
the time of the first impact. Strong initiative was demonstrated by NORAD's sec- 
ond-in-command, Lieutenant General Larry Arnold, from his command center at 
Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida (CONR) . This was before the first impact. In a 
2002 interview with Aviation Week and Space Technology, Arnold described his 
reaction when contacted by NEADS commander Col. Robert Marr who advised 
that American 1 1 had been hijacked and that he had gone as far as he could by 
getting Fl 5 fighters battle-ready at Otis in Massachusetts. He had the pilots in the 
cockpits and the planes ready. That was as far as he could go. 

"I told him to scramble; we'll get clearances later," Arnold said. His 
instincts to act first and get permission later were typical of US and 
Canadian commanders that day. 1 

The same Aviation Week article which contained Arnold's quote contradicted 
itself a mere six paragraphs later by quoting Canadian Navy Captain Michael Jellinek, 
who was acting as NORAD's command director on 9/11 at Cheyenne Mountain. 
"NEADS instantly ordered the scramble, then called me to get Cine [NORAD com- 
mander-in-chief] approval for it. . ." 2 That would have been General Ralph Eberhart. 

There were so many conflicting statements flying around that it was reminis- 
cent of a search warrant I once participated in where, among four suspects, we had 
five different explanations of how six kilos of Mexican brown heroin had found its 
way into the same room with them. By the time we got to ten different versions 
from only four people, the lead detectives got confessions. 

Whether the scramble was ordered by Arnold at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, 
or by Col. Marr at NEADS, it is clear that no one was going to wait for orders 
from Donald Rumsfeld. Press accounts and his own statements indicate that 



Wargames and High Tech 335 



Rumsfeld had not even been advised of the hijacking as he was pontificating to 
Representative Christopher Cox in his office at the Pentagon that another terror- 
ist attack was imminent at 8:44 AM, just two minutes before the WTC was hit by 
Flight 1 1 . This was at least 23 minutes after it had been confirmed that Flight 1 1 
had been hijacked. 3 Still no fighters had left the ground, and according to FAA 
reports, Flight 175 had been off course with no transponder for at least two min- 
utes — a second confirmed emergency. Before June 1, 2001, fighters had been off 
the ground in what I estimate to be about six to eight minutes on average, based 
upon the few available reports I could find. 

Both Arnold's and Jellinek's statements demonstrate that the existing official 
policy laid out in the Joint Chiefs' instruction of June 1,2001, was ignored on 9/ 1 1 . 

Something else must have been in place to paralyze fighter response on 9/ 1 1 and 
still offer the plausibly deniable excuse that the tragic outcome was unintended. 

In April and May of 2004 I found it after author Barbara Honegger, a senior 
military affairs journalist with the Department of Defense, and a talented, if erratic, 
9/11 researcher named Nico Haupt had again started asking questions in a 9/11 
Internet discussion group about the role of a war game exercise on that day. Only 
one — Vigilant Guardian — was known or had been publicly mentioned at that time. 

Starting in August of 2002 Honegger had mentioned Vigilant Guardian and 
had suggested that the hijackers and/or their controllers had to have somehow 
learned the date of a wargame to piggyback their attacks on top of it. That story 
was widely interpreted as suggesting that al Qaeda had penetrated US intelligence 
or the military with inside help — a conclusion Honegger disputes but which 
nonetheless was widely held and discussed by those who read her first and second 
articles on the subject. 

A second article by Honegger in May 2003 did not clear up the confusion. 

This writer did not become aware of Honegger's wargame research until she 
refined her original story into a May 2003 story title "The Ides of March." 4 After 
reading that article I too walked away believing that Honegger was arguing that 
there had been some kind of defection from within the government. 

Honegger's stories posed two serious problems for researchers. First, a literal 
reading led most people to believe that she was asserting that al Qaeda had quiet- 
ly penetrated classified operations. Second, she appeared to be willingly accepting 
the allegation that the 19 hijackers perpetrated the attacks all by themselves, were 
all aboard the hijacked airliners, and actually did all the flying themselves. As we 
will see, all of these assumptions are in serious doubt. 

In May of 2003 I checked my reading of "The Ides of May" with a long list of 
9/11 researchers, and we all drew the same conclusions. After much subsequent 
dialogue with Honegger I believe that her intent was to suggest that the US gov- 
ernment had deliberately leaked the information to the al Qaeda "hijackers" so 
that the attacks could be carried out effectively. Unfortunately, that message was 
not clear, and much time had been lost. 



336 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

In 2004 when Honegger and Haupt began compiling and posting research about 
previously undisclosed 9/11 wargames, it was immediately clear to me that they 
were on to something big. In the spring of 2004 I asked Honegger for, and received, 
a fairly complete list of every known wargame article (especially the newest). 
Honegger sent a shocking body of mainstream press stories. 

It was then up to me to analyze those stories in detail and see how all the 
wargames worked together. Honegger's material was good and I was only able to 
find one or two small stories that she and Haupt had missed. What they revealed, 
however, has become — in my opinion — the Holy Grail of 9/11 research. 

As we will see, the assertion that al Qaeda had somehow penetrated (in an 
active sense) the military may become an eventual fallback position for the plan- 
ners of September 11 th . In light of what has been unearthed, that assertion falls 
apart if you but breathe on it. 

My answers came as they so often do for detectives working on a tough case: as 
a result of going back to the files and starting over one more time to look for some- 
thing I had missed. 

As it turns out, on September 11 th , various agencies including NORAD, the 
FAA, the Canadian Air Force, the National Reconnaissance Office, and possibly 
the Pentagon were conducting as many as five wargame drills — in some cases 
involving hijacked airliners; in some cases also involving blips deliberately insert- 
ed onto FAA and military radar screens which were present during (at least) the 
first attacks; and which in some cases had pulled significant fighter resources away 
from the northeast US on September 1 1 . In addition, a close reading of key news 
stories published in the spring of 2004 revealed for the first time that some of these 
drills were "live-fly" exercises where actual aircraft were simulating the behavior of 
hijacked airliners in real life; all of this as the real attacks began. The fact that these 
exercises had never been systematically and thoroughly explored in the mainstream 
press, or publicly by Congress, or at least publicly in any detail by the so-called 
Independent 9/11 Commission made me think that they might be the Grail. 

That's exactly what they turned out to be. 

For two and a half years after 9/11 the dominant question among skeptics of 
the official version was why fighters had not been scrambled in time to prevent at 
least one of the three "successful" attacks. We now know that there was ample 
time, under normal circumstances, and sufficient resources to have prevented at 
least two and probably all three of them. 

At best I could only come up with questions and a list of people who needed to 
be interrogated looking searching for answers. Like many others, I concluded only 
that, if the system had worked perfectly so many times before with so much less 
provocation, it stood to reason that something must have willfully intervened on 
9/11. That was the easy part. Internet stories had reported anecdotal evidence in the 
form of hearsay from someone who heard it from another person who said that they 
heard Dick Cheney make a cryptic statement that "the order still stands" and argued 



Wargames and High Tech 337 



that this was "proof" that Cheney had issued a stand-down order. By any standard 
such claims do not constitute admissible evidence, and they would never be allowed 
in a court of law. They certainly do not constitute proof for a trained investigator. 
It only takes one good embarrassment under cross-examination in court over an 
overlooked avenue or missed step for a detective to say, "That's never going to hap- 
pen to me again." It happens to most good detectives at least once. 

Starting in April of 2004 it all fell into place. First, the June 2001 Joint Chiefs 
of Staff Instruction quoted at the beginning of this chapter surfaced on the web- 
site of the Defense Department's Defense Technical Information Center. 4 That 
demonstrated a willful intent to centralize decision-making authority away from 
field commanders prior to the attacks. As it turns out, the change in procedure had 
already been indirectly confirmed in a June 3, 2002, story in Aviation Week and 
Space Technology, and almost everyone missed it. That story quoted the order with- 
out disclosing that it had been put in place just ten weeks before 9/11. The wording 
was a near verbatim quote of the Joint Chief's Instruction. One exception in that 
order (Reference D) did leave some decision making in the hands of field com- 
manders in certain exigent circumstances, but the thrust was a radical shift away 
from long-standing NORAD policy. 

Further research into this change would disclose more evidence showing that, 
just a month before that, all counter- terror response planning and organization 
(with a focus on weapons of mass destruction) had been placed under the control 
of Dick Cheney. 5 

Then there were the exercises themselves. 

Vigilant Guardian was named or referred to in several news stories including 
Aviation Week, Newhouse News Service, 6 and on two official web sites. 7 The offi- 
cial websites indicated — and this was later confirmed to me in my own queries 
with NORAD — that details of Vigilant Guardian were classified and not avail- 
able for release. A Vigilant Guardian exercise focusing on cold war-era threats was, 
according to an official site, conducted by NORAD once a year. But a close look 
at what NORAD told the press described a Vigilant Guardian that was vastly dif- 
ferent from an exercise preparing for a Russian attack. In their post-9/ 1 1 statements, 
NORAD officials described details of Vigilant Guardian that seemed to be describ- 
ing something else altogether. 

Aviation Week reported, "Senior officers involved in Vigilant Guardian were 
manning NORAD command centers throughout the US and Canada, available to 
make immediate decisions." 8 This confirmed the geographic scope of the exercise. 
Vigilant Guardian was played up in the press as though it had facilitated a quick- 
er response. It did anything but that. 

That Vigilant Guardian had a direct impact on the Northeast Air Defense 
Sector in which all four hijackings occurred was confirmed in a December 2003 
original story by NJ.com, a New Jersey-based service also summarizing all major 
stories published by New Jersey press outlets. 



338 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



NORAD also has confirmed it was running two mock drills on 
September 1 1 at various radar sites and command centers in the United 
States and Canada, including air force bases in upstate New York, 
Florida, Washington, and Alaska. One drill, Operation Vigilant 
Guardian, began a week before September 1 1 and reflected a cold war 
mind-set: Participants practiced for an attack across the North Pole by 
Russian forces. 9 

The story never named the second drill, and the assertion that it was strictly a 
cold war-type exercise is belied by direct statements of many of the principals 
involved that day. The NJ.com story also raised another chilling issue. 

Investigators at the September 1 1 commission confirm they are inves- 
tigating whether NORAD's attention was drawn in one direction — 
toward the North Pole — while the hijackings came from an entirely 
different direction. 10 

Vigilant Warrior was specifically mentioned by former White House counter- 
terrorism advisor Richard Clarke in his 2004 bestseller Against All Enemies. At the 
beginning of the book Clarke describes a series of conversations with key officials 
that occurred after the second tower had been hit as he chaired the White House's 
Crisis Strategy Group (CSG) during the first minutes of the attacks. 

"[FAA Administrator] Jane [Garvey] where's Norm?" I asked. They were 
frantically looking for Norman Mineta, the Secretary of Transportation, 
and, like me, a rare holdover from the Clinton administration. At first 
FAA could not find him. "Well, Jane, can you order aircraft down? We're 
going to have to clear the airspace around Washington and New York." 

"We may have to do a lot more than that, Dick. I already put a 
hold on all take-offs and landings in New York and Washington, but 
we have reports of eleven aircraft off course or out of communications, 
maybe hijacked. " [Emphasis added] . . . 

I turned to the radar screen. "JCS, JCS. I assume NORAD has 
scrambled fighters and AWACS. How many? Where?" 

"Not a pretty picture Dick." Dick Myers, himself a fighter pilot, 
knew that the days when we had scores of fighters on strip alert had 
ended with the cold war. "We are in the middle of Vigilant Warrior, a 
NORAD exercise, but . . . Otis has launched two birds toward New 
York. Langley [Air Force Base] is trying to get two up now. . . 

It was now 9:28 [emphasis added] 11 

[NOTE: Clarke's book was edited by the White House for some months prior 
to publication. The ellipsis (three dots) after the word "but" in Clarke's paragraph 
above are a direct quotation from the book suggesting the possibility that the 
White House had deleted whatever Clarke had written here.] 



Wargames and High Tech 339 



As the chart in the preceding chapter shows, according to data provided by the 
FAA, NORAD, and many press accounts, by 9:28 it was known that all four flights 
had been hijacked and that flight 77 had been headed towards Washington for 
some time. 

This was the only reference to Vigilant Warrior I was able to find. Earlier ref- 
erences stored on the Web disclosed a 1996 exercise in the Persian Gulf with the 
same name, but nothing since. I knew that the names assigned to exercises had 
significance but did not know how names were allocated. Why would Myers indi- 
cate that a Persian Gulf exercise, not reported on anywhere else, had any bearing 
on domestic response on 9/11? 

But if Clarke's account is accurate, the name was confirmed directly to him by 
the acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Military exercises are often linked, 
and according to several sources, when names are partially shared during simulta- 
neous exercises this indicates a connection between them. The juxtaposition of the 
words "Guardian" and "Warrior" suggest opposing forces in a wargame exercise 
with one side playing the aggressor and another side playing the defender. 

The fact that Jane Garvey indicated that as many as 1 1 aircraft were out of 
radio contact or off course was the most startling revelation. Was it an indication 
that one or more of them could be connected with the war games? 

Northern Vigilance was an exercise being conducted on September 11 th as 
reported only by Canada's Toronto Star in a story dated December 9, 2001. The 
story had a great deal to say about how 9/11 unfolded. 

Northern Vigilance, planned months in advance, involves deploying 
fighter jets to locations in Alaska and northern Canada. Part of the 
exercise is pure simulation, but part is real world. NORAD is keeping a 
close eye on the Russians, who have dispatched long-range bombers 
to their own high north on a similar exercise 

The Federal Aviation Administration has evidence of a hijacking 
and is asking for NORAD support. This is not part of the exercise. 

In a flash, Operation Northern Vigilance is called off. Any simulat- 
ed information, what's known as an "inject" is purged fom the screens. . . 

"Lots of other reports were starting to come in," [Major General 
Rick] Findley [Director of NORAD operations] recalls. "And now 
you're not too sure. If they're that clever to co-ordinate that kind of attack, 
what else is taking place across North America?". . . [emphasis added] 12 

The reference to "injects" was chilling. No other mainstream press (especially 
in the US) had mentioned that false radar blips had been inserted onto radar 
screens on September 11 th . But on whose screens? Where? A major anomaly in 
official 9/11 accounts had been officially ignored. 

The only brief response I received from NORAD's public affairs office when I 
tried to sort out the various names and identities of the wargames contained the 



340 CROSSING THE RUBICON 

statement, "To help clarify, NORAD did issue a news release entitled "NORAD 
Maintains Northern Vigilance" on 9 SEP 01." The e-mail response directed me to 
a NORAD web page where I found the following: 

The North American Aerospace Defense Command shall deploy fight- 
er aircraft as necessary to Forward Operating Locations (FOLS) in Alaska 
and Northern Canada to monitor a Russian air force exercise in the 
Russian arctic and North Pacific Ocean, [emphasis added] 13 

So the fighters had been pulled north and west, away from New York and 
Washington. 

Other press stories referred to Vigilant Guardian as the exercise focused on a 
simulated Russian attack. Which one was it? The official statements said that 
Northern Vigilance was the Cold War exercise. So what was Vigilant Guardian? 
And what were the other exercises all about? As I focused on these discrepancies it 
became much easier to find answers. They weren't pretty. 

Northern Guardian was an exercise that was mentioned only once in a head- 
line for an early version of the same Toronto Star story described above; and then, 
only in the headline. Being a journalist it appeared to me as though references to 
Northern Guardian had been removed from the text of the story by an editor while 
the headline reference had been overlooked. What appeared to be a later version 
of the same story, posted in the online business section the same day had the ref- 
erence to Northern Guardian deleted. Otherwise, the stories were the same. 14 

The National Reconnaissance Office, a joint creation of the CIA and the air 
force that operates US spy satellites, was also running an exercise on September 
1 1 th . This one happened to involve a plane crashing into the headquarters of the 
ultra-secret agency in the Washington, DC suburb of Chantilly, Virginia, just out- 
side Dulles International airport, the origin of Flight 77. 

An Associated Press story dated September of 2002 was headlined "Agency 
planned exercise on September 1 1 built around a plane crashing into a building." 

WASHINGTON — In what the government describes as a bizarre 
coincidence, one US intelligence agency was planning an exercise last 
September 1 1 in which an errant aircraft would crash into one of its build- 
ings. But the cause wasn't terrorism — it was to be a simulated accident. 

Officials at the Chantilly, Virginia-based National Reconnaissance 
Office had scheduled an exercise that morning in which a small cor- 
porate jet would crash into one of the four towers at the agency's 
headquarters building after experiencing a mechanical failure. 

The agency is about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the runways of 
Washington Dulles International Airport. 

Agency chiefs came up with the scenario to test employees' ability 
to respond to a disaster, said spokesman Art Haubold... 



Wargames and High Tech 341 



The National Reconnaissance Office operates many of the nation's 
spy satellites. It draws its personnel from the military and the CIA 
(news - websites). 

After the September 1 1 attacks, most of the 3,000 people who 
work at agency headquarters were sent home, save for some essential 
personnel, Haubold said. 

An announcement for an upcoming homeland security conference 
in Chicago first noted the exercise. 

In a promotion for speaker John Fulton, a CIA officer assigned as 
chief of NRO's strategic gaming division, the announcement says, 
"On the morning of September 11 th 2001, Mr. Fulton and his team ... 
were running a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response 
issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building. Little did 
they know that the scenario would come true in a dramatic way that 
day." [Emphasis added] 15 

Strategic gaming, indeed. 

A second confirmation of the CIA-run NRO exercise was stored at www.mem- 
oryhole.org. 16 It was clear that the CIA was in charge of the NRO drill. This 
corresponded perfectly with my experience which says that the CIA, when involved 
in any training exercise involving other agencies, or the military, is always the 
Alpha dog. How many others? Who was coordinating all these drills anyway? 
Somebody had to make sure that American pilots didn't start shooting down 
Canadian airliners or thinking that friendly planes simulating hijacked airlin- 
ers were Russian bombers or worse, real hijacks. 

Vigilant Guardian was a hijacking drill, not a cold war exercise 

There were a number of direct quotes from participants in Vigilant Guardian indi- 
cating that the drill involved hijacked airliners rather than Russian bombers. 

General Arnold had been quoted by ABC news as saying, "The first thing that 
went through my mind [after receiving the hijacking alert for Flight 11] was, is this 
part of the exercise? Is this some kind of a screw-up?" [emphasis added] 17 

The Aviation Week article reported: 

"Tech. Sgt. Jeremy W. Powell of ... Northeast Air Defense Sector 
(NEADS) in Rome, N.Y., took the first call from Boston Center. He 
notified NEADS Commander Col. Robert K. Marr Jr. of a possible 
hijacked airliner, American Airlines Flight 11. 

'Part of the exercise?' the Colonel wondered. No, this is a real world 
event, he was told. Several days into a semi-annual exercise known as 
Vigilant Guardian " [emphasis added] 18 

The Newhouse story had opened with a reference to hijackings and also con- 
firmed a hijack scenario being linked to Vigilant Guardian. 



342 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



"Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins figured it would be a long day 

September 1 1 was Day II of 'Vigilant Guardian, ' an exercise that 
would pose an imaginary crisis to North American Air defense outposts 
nationwide 

At 8:40, Deskins noticed senior technician Jeremy Powell waving 
his hand. Boston Center was on the line, he said. It had a hijacked air- 
liner. 

'It must be part of the exercise,' Deskins thought. " [emphasis added] 19 

For those unfamiliar with cold war- type air force exercises, for more than 50 
years they have involved the simulated interception of Soviet (or Russian) strategic 
bombers or missiles coming directly over the North Pole. Simulated, in this case, 
means that interceptors are launched to intercept points. That's what my father's 
job was in Maine as radar operator/ weapons officer in an F89D Scorpion from late 
1952 through 1953. The intercepts occurred either in polar regions or in the far 
northern part of Canada, long before hostile forces could threaten the continental 
United States or CONUS as it is called. That's a long way from Boston, New York, 
Washington, and Pennsylvania. There is no way that NORAD officers in Rome, 
New York, or a Lieutenant General in Florida could possibly mistake a reported 
hijacking out of Massachusetts as part of that kind of exercise. Such a question 
could only arise if hijackings were a part of the scenario in one or more wargames 
being played inside the US, especially Vigilant Guardian. 

Northern Vigilance pulled fighter aircraft away 
from NEADS and CONUS 

I found two confirmations of this and a little more information about how exten- 
sive the deployment had been. The first, indirect and incomplete, was from 
NJ.com. 

NORAD confirmed it had only eight fighters on the East Coast for 
emergency scrambles on September 1 1 . Throughout Canada and the 
United States, including Alaska, NORAD had 20 fighters on alert — 
armed, fueled up, and ready to fly in minutes. 20 

A more specific confirmation had already come from NORAD itself from the 
Northern Vigilance website. 

The North American Aerospace Defense Command shall deploy 
fighter aircraft as necessary to Forward Operating Locations (FOLS) 
in Alaska and Northern Canada to monitor a Russian air force exer- 
cise in the Russian arctic and North Pacific Ocean. 21 

The pieces were falling together rapidly. I remembered a story that the National 
Security Agency (NSA) had intercepted a message on September 10 th between two 
al Qaeda members. CNN reported: 



Wargames and High Tech 343 



A message intercepted by US intelligence officials September 10 
declared "The match begins tomorrow," and another declared 
"Tomorrow is zero hour" — but the messages were not translated 
until one day after the devastating terrorist attacks. 22 

That conversation was between Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, the so-called mas- 
termind of 9/1 1, and Mohammed Atta, the reported lead hijacker. 23 Could "match" 
have referred to a wargame? Honegger had suggested this in 2002. The new 
wargame information now made that conclusion much more attractive. 

It certainly appeared that someone in authority had deliberately interfered with 
FAA/NORAD operations on September 1 1 th to make sure that some of the attacks 
succeeded. Richard Clarke's book, previously edited by the White House, had FAA 
administrator Garvey referring to as many as 1 1 off-course/out-of-contact aircraft. 
Was she saying that she couldn't tell the wargame inserts from the real thing? 

It would take only a day or two more to find damning evidence that this is 
probably what she meant. The fact that the CIA had been running a plane-into- 
building exercise simultaneously with all the military exercises made me very 
suspicious. The first question that leapt at me was, with all these related exercises 
running at the same time, who or what was coordinating them? Someone at DoD 
had to have a regular job of knowing all the exercises being carried out everywhere 
to avoid SNAFUs. That question and others would require interviews. 

"Live Fly" — Pogo bounces toward truth 

On Monday, April 12, the Project on Government Oversight (www.pogo.org) 
released a copy of an e-mail that had been written in frustration on September 1 8, 
2001, by former NORAD "member" Terry Ropes. In the wake of a multitude of 
contradictory statements by suspects Rice, Bush, Ashcroft, Tenet, and Mueller 
about how much had been known of "planes as weapons" warnings, a wave of 
indignation and journalistic embarrassment had swept the country. All who testi- 
fied or answered questions, it seemed, had been saying that there had not been 
enough information about "planes as weapons" to institute any kind of preparato- 
ry responses. Ropes's email proved them wrong. 

Some of the major media finally mentioned Project Bojinka, a plan to hijack a 
number of US-bound airliners over the Pacific and blow them up. Bojinka plans 
also called for the crashing of a hijacked, explosives-laden airliner into CIA head- 
quarters. The FBI and CIA had learned of Bojinka in 1995 when they arrested 
Ramzi Yousef in the Philippines. An April 17, 2004, New York Times Op-Ed head- 
lined, "Why Didn't We Stop 9/11?", finally — finally — mentioned Bojinka, the 
mother of all advance warnings. 24 We crazy, flaky, risible conspiracy theorists had 
been screaming about it for 31 months. 

The US government found out about Bojinka when they seized Ramzi 
Youssef's personal computer and then brought him to the US and tried him for 
the first World Trade Center bombing. In 2001 Minneapolis FBI agents, eventually 



344 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



"adopted" by Colleen Rowley were apoplectically trying to get into Zacarias 
Moussaoui's laptop and receiving nothing but refusals. I wonder why? The agents 
were also speculating about a hijacked airliner being crashed into the World Trade 
Center after getting details of Moussaoui's flight training. 

Ropes' e-mail, written a week after the attacks, expressed the frustration that we 
now know was felt throughout the military and law enforcement community. It 
did not take NORAD long to confirm the e-mail's authenticity for the Boston Globe. 

Subject: Exercise Scenario 

In defense of my last unit, NORAD. 

For POSITIVE FORCE/RSOI in Apr 01, the NORAD exercise 
developers wanted an event having a terrorist group hijack a commer- 
cial airliner (foreign carrier) and fly it into the Pentagon. PACOM 
[Pacific Command] didn't want it because it would take attention 
from their exercise objectives, and Joint Staff action officers rejected it 
as too unrealistic. 

Terry 25 

The media machine kicked into high gear to control the damage. But as is 
always the case in criminal investigations where the detective gets suspects to talk 
— just a little — the amount of information learned is directly proportional to the 
length of time the suspects (or his agents) keep talking. 

April 14, 2004, stories in the New York Times, the Boston Herald, the Boston 
Globe, and the Washington Post, all took the same line, emphasizing that the sim- 
ulation suggested in the POGO email was rejected as being "unrealistic." 

The Boston Globe, however, added: 

Concerns that terrorists might use hijacked airliners as missiles date 
back to the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, when jets were placed on 
patrol to guard against such a threat. 26 

In the same story, retired FBI Director Louis Freeh (who had been FBI Director 
in 1996) stated regarding 9/11: "I was never aware of a plan that contemplated air- 
liners being used as weapons after a hijacking." I suppose a really rich terrorist 
could buy a Boeing 757 for such a mission. Osama had lots of money. 

Days later, simultaneous with the appearances of top Bush and Clinton officials 
in the theatrical environment of the so-called Independent 9/11 Commission, fur- 
ther stories revealed shocking information — including the fact that the 
government had itself been flying actual aircraft during simulated hijack exercises, 
possibly even on September 11 th . 

Two new pieces of crucial evidence were that the exercise envisioned in the 
POGO e-mail had, in fact, been conducted sometime after April of 2001, and that 
several hijack exercises involved actual aircraft posing as hijacked airliners in "live- 
fly" operations. 



Wargames and High Tech 345 



On April 18 USA Today spilled some of the beans. Headlined, "NORAD had 
drills of jets as weapons" it offered never-before reported details of 9/1 1. 

WASHINGTON — In the two years before the Sept 1 1 attacks, the 
North American Aerospace Command conducted exercises simulating 
what the White House says was unimaginable at the time: hijacked air- 
liners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties. 

One of the imagined targets was The World Trade Center. In another 
exercise, jets performed a mock shootdown over the Atlantic Ocean of a jet 
supposedly laden with chemical poisons headed toward a target in the 
United States. In a third scenario, the target was the Pentagon — but 
that drill was not run after defense officials said it was unrealistic, 
NORAD and Defense officials say. . . . 

"Numerous types of civilian and military aircraft were used as mock 
hijacked aircraft, " the statement said. "These exercises tested track detec- 
tion and identification; scramble and interception; hijack procedures; 
internal and external agency coordination and operational security and 
communications security procedures.... 

A White House spokesman said Sunday that the Bush administration 
was unaware of the exercises. But the exercises using real aircraft show 
that at least one part of the government thought the possibility of 
such attacks, though unlikely, merited scrutiny.... 

Until Sept 11, NORAD was expected to defend the United States and 
Canada from aircraft based elsewhere. After the attacks that responsi- 
bility broadened to include flights that originated in the two countries. 

In the very next paragraph the story contradicted itself. 

But there were exceptions in early drills, including one operation, 
planned in July 200 1 and conducted later, that involved planes from 
airports in Utah and Washington State that were "hijacked. " Those 
planes were escorted by US and Canadian aircraft to airfields in British 
Columbia and Alaska [emphasis added] 27 

The following day, April 19, CNN added fuel to the fire. For a moment — just 
a moment — I had a hope that 9/11 might be broken, and that some treasonous 
Americans might go to jail. The headline read, "NORAD exercise had jet crash- 
ing into building." 

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sometime between 1991 and 2001, a 
regional sector of the North American Aerospace Defense Command 
simulated a foreign hijacked airliner crashing into a building in the 
United States as part of a training exercise scenario, a NORAD 
spokesman said Monday. . . . 



346 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Military officials said the exercise involved simulating a crash into 
a building that would be recognizable if identified, but was not the 
World Trade Center or the Pentagon. ... 

The identity of the building named in the exercise is classified.... 

This sector exercise involved some flying of military aircraft as well 
as a command post exercise in which communications procedures 
were practiced in an office environment.... 

NORAD has the ongoing mission of defense of US air space 

According to a statement from NORAD, "Before September 1 1 th , 
01, NORAD regularly conducted a variety of exercises that included 
hijack scenarios. These exercises tested track detection and identifica- 
tion; scramble and interception; hijack procedures. . . . [emphasis added] 28 

NORAD's own statement confirmed that real military and civilian aircraft had 
posed as hijacked airliners. Fighter pilots can't intercept thin air. They can't fly 
above and slightly to the left of thin air and rock their wings and wait for a 
response. They can't practice dodging sudden, unexpected movements, maneuver 
or lock missiles unless there's a real airplane to do it with. 

The NORAD statement was quoted further in the story: 

NORAD did not plan and execute these types of exercises because we 
thought the scenarios were probable. These exercises were artificial 
simulations that provided us the opportunity to test and validate our 
process and rules of engagement with the appropriate coordination between 
NORAD's command headquarters, its subordinate regions and sectors and 
National Command authorities in Canada and the United States. 

Any assertion that the White House didn't know of such drills was pure bull- 
shit. 

The National Command Authority is the White House. It starts with the pres- 
ident and descends through the vice president (in the president's absence as was 
the case on 9/11), to the secretary of defense. Such exercises, when played in real 
life, usually involve White House staff standing in for the president. But since they 
are carried out using either the Presidential Emergency Operations Center or the 
Situation Room, how could the president, vice president, and national security 
advisor not know about drills that, of necessity, had taken place inside the White 
House? 2 ' 

Note the fact that one particular hijacked airliner drill, conducted most likely 
between July 2001 and September 2001, had the hijacked plane crashing into a 
building. September 1 1 th was the best possible "drill" of all; the real thing. Was the 
same exercise that had been rejected in April then carried out as an actual event on 
September 11 th ? Was the intended game target the World Trade Center? The 
Pentagon? Both had been mentioned as targets previously, and one of them had 
actually been bombed before. Was the White House a target? Was the CIA 



Wargames and High Tech 347 



headquarters at Langley? It had been mentioned as a target in the Bojinka docu- 
ments. The CIA then certainly had an interest in knowing about and participating 
in all such wargames. 

The USA Today story quoted a NORAD spokesman as saying "No exercise 
matched the specific events of September 1 1*."30 § t nere must have been a major 
salient difference between this particular drill and the events of 9/ 1 1 .... maybe 
they used an airplane with Delta markings instead of United and American, or 
maybe the number of peanuts on board was completely different. No match. 

Other significant similarities to 9/11 jumped out. The one admitted domestic 
hijack drill involved both the Canadian and US Air Forces, exactly like the drills 
being conducted on 9/ 1 1 . Importantly, at least one exercise involved the shoot-down 
of a simulated hijack that must have been remotely piloted. It would have been dif- 
ficult to find volunteers for the role of doomed airline pilot in a drill like that. 

My understanding of the air force, acquired through my father's career in the 
military and with Martin-Marietta, reminded me of two things. There are many 
old airliners lying around, and the air force likes to blow up the real thing rather 
than a Cessna with an American Airlines logo. The equipment involved on 
September 1 1 th , Boeing 757s and 767s, were newer models. There might not have 
been any older ones serviceable lying in the "bone yards." Might the airlines, very 
close with the US Air Force, have conveniently loaned some to the air force for use 
in hijack drills? It's a great tax write-off. If they did, were they remotely piloted to 
avoid injury to airline personnel in case of an accident? The technology certainly 
existed. Intelligence agencies and the military have long disguised special combat 
aircraft as harmless commercial planes. I believe that one such plane, the white 
business jet from the chart in the previous chapter, shot down flight 93. We 
couldn't have a plane full of witnesses and live "hijacker/patsies" land and start 
talking; especially if the plane had been flying all by itself, now could we? We will 
see shortly that at least one of Flight 93's alleged hijackers, Saeed Alghamdi, had 
received English language training from the military. If he was on that plane and 
it was successfully landed, he would have some interesting things to say. If he was- 
n't — if only a few of the alleged hijackers had been on the plane, it would have 
raised an entirely different set of questions. 

History remembers 

A 1976 NORAD procedural memorandum established that NORAD was absolute- 
ly responsible for all air defense in wartime or "limited war" or an "air defense 
emergency" inside the US. The attacks of 9/1 1 would seem to qualify as a limited 
war. 31 There was no determinate country to attack that day, no invasion by for- 
eign troops. The memorandum, called SCATANA (Security Control of Air Traffic 
and Air Navigation Aids), was partially implemented on 9/11. It had not been 
superceded by any later orders. The Aviation Week article contained three chilling 
paragraphs: 



348 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



By 9:26 a.m., the FAA command center stopped all departures 
nationwide. At 9:41, American Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, 
elevating tension levels even further. NEADS' Sr. Airman Stacia 
Rountree, an identification technician, said, 'We had three aircraft 
down and the possibility of others hijacked. We had to think outside 
the box,' making up procedures on the fly. Before the day ended, 21 air- 
craft across the US had been handled as 'tracks of interest. ' 

'We didn't know how many more there were ... Are there five? Six? 
The only way we could tell was to implement Scatana — sanitize the 
airspace. Get everybody down,' said Lt. Col. William E. Glover Jr., 
chief of Norad's air defense operations. 

Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart, NORAD commander-in-chief, was in 
the Cheyenne Mountain battle center by then. He and his staff sug- 
gested, via an open command link, implementing a limited version of 
Scatana — a federal plan designed to take emergency control of all domes- 
tic air traffic and navigation aids. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. 
Mineta immediately concurred and gave the order to get all aircraft 
on the ground as soon as possible. That action probably saved many 
lives, but without unnecessary, paralyzing restrictions of a full Scatana 
order. 32 

Many press stories, including some excellent reports in USA Today, painted a 
clear picture of the biggest problem facing NORAD and air force units as the 
attacks began. Many stories confirmed Jane Garvey's number of 1 1 possible hijacks. 
Some indicated that there were up to 21. How could a NORAD commander have 
known where to send fighters at that time? There were clearly many possible hijack- 
ings underway. No one knew the exact number. No one knew which were real. 

Sending fighters to a "possible" hijacking was not acceptable. There weren't 
enough to go around. 33 And if they were sent to an intercept that turned out not 
to have been a hijacking, they would have been in the wrong place to respond to 
a real one. This was exactly the kind of uncertainty that would paralyze eager and 
loyal pilots and commanders until uncertainty had been eliminated. By that time 
of course, it was too late. Mission accomplished. 

So who was flying those things anyway? 

Especially with the case of Flight 77, which was, as 9/ 1 1 -widow Kristen Breitweiser 
testified, "performing loop de loops" over the Pentagon, some serious flying was 
done on September 11 th . Flight 77 not only flew straight towards the Pentagon 
from near the Ohio- West Virginia border, it made a sudden U-turn over 
Washington so that it could hit the Pentagon in a virtually unoccupied wing on 
the navy side. It also descended several thousand feet in a sharp dive and was able 
to pull out and approach the Pentagon just feet above the ground, without collid- 
ing with anything other than some trees and a streetlight. 34 



Wargames and High Tech 349 



So who was piloting Flight 77? According to ABC you have your choice between 
our charmed lucky friends, Khalid Almidhar and Nawaf AlHazmi, or Wail Alshehri. 35 
According to multiple sources all three were poor and inexperienced pilots. Someone 
made great progress in the summer of 2001. Or maybe it wasn't necessary. 

Training provided by Uncle Sam 

There are differences between intelligence "assets" who are expendable and those 
who are not. Usually, the non-expendable ones are people in whom an agency has 
invested a lot of time and money. According to Newsweek, as many as five of the 
9/11 hijackers received training at US military installations. 

September 15 — US military sources have given the FBI information 
that suggests five of the alleged hijackers of the planes that were used 
in Tuesday's terror attacks received training at secure US military 
installations in the 1990s. 

Three of the alleged hijackers listed their address on driver's licenses and 
car registrations as the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla. — known as 
the "Cradle of US Navy Aviation," according to a high-ranking US 
Navy source. 

Another of the alleged hijackers [AttaJ may have been trained in strat- 
egy and tactics at the Air War College in Montgomery, Ala., said another 
high-ranking Pentagon official. The fifih man may have received lan- 
guage instruction at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex. Both 
were former Saudi Air Force pilots who had come to the United 
States, according to the Pentagon source. 

But there are slight discrepancies between the military training 
records and the official FBI list of suspected hijackers — either in the 
spellings of their names or with their birthdates. One military source 
said it is possible that the hijackers may have stolen the identities of 
the foreign nationals who studied at the US installations. 36 

Independent journalist and filmmaker Daniel Hopsicker moved to the Venice, 
Florida, area shortly after the attacks. In the Washington Post and the Knight-Ridder 
syndicate, Hopsicker found news stories confirming that some of the hijackers had 
received US military training. Those stories had Mohammed Atta pretty well 
nailed down. He had extensive US military training. He also spent a lot of time in 
bars and strip clubs — behaviors that are completely inconsistent with those of a 
devout Muslim about to meet Allah as a pure martyr. 37 

Credible press stories citing military sources and records also reported that 
some of the alleged 9/11 hijackers had received English language training at the 
military installations. The hijackers reported to have received such training here 
were Saeed Alghamdi and unnamed others; "more than one," according the 
Associated Press. Alghamdi was allegedly one of the hijackers of Flight 93. 38 



350 CROSSING THE RUBICON 



Again, a little familiarity with the military proved helpful. Military language 
instruction is a specialized, very elite school. Its primary providers of students have 
always been military and civilian intelligence agencies. As one former Special 
Forces soldier who attended the school told me, attendance is exclusively reserved 
for the most highly qualified applicants making a career in intelligence or the mil- 
itary. "It costs too damn much money for them to train you to be fluent in another 
language. It's a highly marketable skill. They won't just let you walk away after 
that," he said. The same thinking, he added, applied to foreign students receiving 
English language training. 

But the assumption that the military had somehow trained some of the hijack- 
ers up to incredible skill levels didn't hold water. Venice, Florida, was where several 
of the hijackers received flight training in small, private aircraft. None received 
training on Boeing airliners. Only one or two of the 19 had an instrument rating. 
Over the course of two years Hopsicker not only added information to what was 
known about military training, he established that some of the hijackers associat- 
ed with wealthy Floridians who had both intelligence and Bush family 
connections. Hopsicker also confirmed that within hours of the attacks, Florida 
Governor Jeb Bush had a military C 130 Hercules transport fly in to the Venice 
airport where a hastily loaded rental truck, filled with the records of Huffman 
Aviation — where Atta, Alshehri, and others had trained — was driven directly 
into the plane. The C 1 30 immediately took off for parts unknown. 

Experienced military pilots with thousands of hours in all kinds of aircraft, 
Gary Eitel for example, have told me that the maneuver performed by Flight 77, 
as described in official reports, was beyond the capabilities of 90 percent of even 
the best and most experienced pilots in the world. I talked to Eitel on the day of 
the attacks and he was amazed by the piloting skill used to steer Flight 175 into 
the second tower. Flight 77 boggled his mind. 

I remembered that the BBC had contributed some interesting material to the 
stories that some hijackers received military training. 

One of the most bizarre ironies of all this is that five of the hijackers 
lived in a motel right outside the gates of the NSA 

When Osama bin Laden first moved to Afghanistan, the NSA lis- 
tened in to every phone call he made on his satellite phone. Over the 
course of two years it is believed they logged more than 2,000 min- 
utes of conversation .... 

It all ended when President Clinton ordered the cruise missile 
strike on his training camp in 1998. Bin Laden narrowly escaped with 
his life. 

He realised that the NSA was listening in and ditched his satellite 
phone, and ordered his aides never to talk on the phone again about 
operations. 39 



Wargames and High Tech 351 



Early on the morning of 1 1 September, when Hani Hanjour and 
his four accomplices left the Valencia Motel on US route 1 on their 
way to Washington's Dulles airport, they joined the stream of NSA 
employees heading to work. 

Three hours later, they had turned flight 77 around and slammed 
it into the Pentagon. 40 

Flight 77 again: the miracle plane. The one that nobody actually saw hit the 
Pentagon; the one that left no recognizable debris matching an airliner; the one 
French author and investigator Thierry Meyssan did a pretty convincing job of 
proving it never hit the Pentagon because the hole was way too small and the dam- 
age pattern (a key forensic technique used by police officers investigating traffic 
accidents) was totally inconsistent with a mid-sized passenger jet like a 757; the 
one where the engines melted, disappeared or evaporated, or were transported into 
space by the Starship Enterprise and never found; the one that flew like a fighter 
plane or a cruise missile. 41 

Meyssan was crucified in the American press, although his book L'Effroyable 
Imposture, or The Horrifying Fraud, became a runaway bestseller in Europe. This 
was another lesson for me about what happens in America when one tries to make 
a conspiracy case in the public arena, based solely upon physical evidence. That 
approach gave rise to verbal attacks and politically empty debates that merely wast- 
ed time and energy. I have never believed that Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. I also 
deliberately chose not to pursue it in my newsletter because I couldn't prove it by 
the rigorous standards of either the law courts or by peer-reviewed forensic science. 
Of course, like Meyssan and everyone else, I've been dogged by the big question 
about the alleged Pentagon plane: where did Flight 77 go, and what happened to 
the passengers? 

I was now absolutely convi